A NEW service for mourners has be announced in Devizes to offer a more fitting location for celebrating the life of a loved one.

Lucinda Brent of the town council has worked with local funeral directors to create venues to meet the trend for less formal affairs.

The Corn Exchange and Town Hall will host celebrations of life ranging form 20 people to 400 as there are a choice of room.

Lucinda Brent said: "The celebrant or civil funeral conductor will host the service.

"This would be arranged in the usual manner through our funeral director partners.

"The coffin would be at our venue if the family choose the full celebration of life package."

The mourners can then choose to stay in the venue while the funeral director will then take the coffin and close family members to its final destination with the wake then held in the venue.

She said the venues had been used in the past but the majority of were not aware of the availability.

She said: "After a lot of market research and meetings with our local funeral directors, we found that families are having to choose either from church services or crematorium services and having to travel to other destinations for wake.

"This in turn means a lot of the funeral party tend to leave straight after the service.

"Funeral directors have been inundated with families who do not want either of the traditional services and have found that they have no other local options to us."

"We can offer our venues for families who would like to stay in the same venue with their families and friends.

"We are able to welcome their deceased loved ones into the venues, host the celebration of life service and then fully cater for the wake with a full range of hot and cold buffets, afternoon teas and champagne afternoon teas with unlimited tea and coffee with the option of a cash bar.

"This not only gives more undisturbed time with family and friends but also a different and local venue to choose from, other than the previously mentioned traditional options.

"We have the space, the team , the venue to have the coffin, the service and full catering, all on our local residents' doorstep in a centralised location in the centre of Devizes working with their funeral director."