Event details

Where Have We Come From and Where Are We Going?

Have you considered what will happen to your body after you die? This question can divide families and cause huge heartache. It is a highly emotional and personal decision.

Rites and rituals around death respond to the culture, geography and time in which they're practised. Cremation was considered sacrilegious when it was first introduced. Now it is common practice, though searching questions are being asked about its environmental impact.

We will hear about historic approaches to death in the UK, about the blossoming green burial movement and the new ideas for the disposal of bodies being developed in the US and the UK, including human composting. The panel includes speakers from these new industries, academics and the manager of the Natural Death Centre.

Where Have We Come From and Where Are We Going?

Date & Time:  Friday 3rd November 2023

Location of Event:  Online


Charge: Pay what you can - you need only Register ONCE for the whole day's events (ie not for every individual event!)

Registration for Online Day enables you to attend ANY OR ALL of the events, as you choose. (The only exception is for the sessions on Deep Listening for Assisted Dying, to which only the first 15 participants will be admitted to each session, first come first served.) To register you will be asked to pay what you can. There will also be an opportunity to purchase an online recording of all the days' events (excluding the two on Assisted Dying.)

On Registration, you will receive an email from Eventbrite with the Zoom link for the whole day - you just click on the link any time you wish to join an event. There will be a separate link for the sessions on Assisted Dying.

You will also receive reminder emails leading up to the event - and booking will remain open throughout Online Day too, so you can still join even if you missed the start!

If you haven't already booked via another page on our site, you may click here to Register for all your online events on Nov 3rd - please only register ONCE.


Helen Frisby

Dr Helen Frisby obtained her PhD on Victorian funeral customs from the University of Leeds in 2009. Helen is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Death & Society, University of Bath, Secretary of the Association for the Study of Death & Society (ASDS) and a Council Member of the Folklore Society. She continues to research, publish and speak on the history and folklore of death, dying and bereavement, including appearances on the History Channel and BBC Radio. Helen’s book, Traditions of Death and Burial, was
published in 2019. Other recent research, with the University of Bristol, investigates the informal occupational culture of frontline cemetery staff. Helen is also Researcher Development Manager at UWE Bristol, with particular expertise in academic writing, qualitative research methods and postgraduate researcher wellbeing.

Georgina Robinson

Dr Georgina M. Robinson is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Theology and Religion and Centre for Death-Life Studies at Durham University, currently working
on a large European Digital Death Project with academics at the Universities of Durham, Helsinki, Aarhus, and Bucharest. Since the final year of her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology
and Religion, Georgina’s research interests have been grounded in the field of death studies. Over the last few years, Georgina’s research has primarily been concerned with innovation at the end of life. Her PhD research – ‘Alkaline
Hydrolysis: The Future of British Death-Styles' – is the first study of alkaline hydrolysis in the United Kingdom and involved transatlantic fieldwork in the UK and US contexts.


Morgan Yarborough - Recompose

Morgan leads services, ceremonies, arrangements, and at-need death care at Recompose. She has been exploring death care since 2016 and is a licensed funeral director in both Washington and Oregon. In 2022 she received her B.S. in Funeral Service Management, graduating with honors.
Her goal is to support people in choosing meaningful,
empowering options when it comes to death care, and she
believes that compassion, education, and understanding
are paramount in accomplishing this goal.
Prior to joining Recompose, Morgan led community events focused on death education and what it means to be mortal
through her Oregon-based group, Our Own Hands.


Dee Ryding (Chair)

Dee Ryding is the founder/ owner of Divine Ceremony, an independent undertakers and funeral directors based in Bristol. For more than 15 years, Dee has been supporting families in and around the city and across the south west to create appropriate funerals for their people.

Former National Celebrant of the Year/ Most Promising New Funeral Director nominee, Dee has been named a Bristol Changemaker for her work in funeral care. Increasingly focused on where and how we say goodbye, Dee has built up a diverse portfolio of ceremony spaces, and is working on how we can best respond to death in a more sustainable way.


Rosie Inman-Cook

For nearly quarter of a century Rosie has been working around death. Firstly as a natural burial ground operator and now as a funeral helpline manager for the Natural Death Centre charity. She answers calls on every imaginable subject, from, "Can I be buried with my dog?" to advising funeral directors wanting to green their businesses - the answer to that has got to be 'stop encouraging people to be cremated'.

Rosie also manages the Association of Natural Burial Grounds. The only organisation scrutinising and monitoring these cemeteries. Many around the country cannot meet the ANBG standards and have unfortunately created a 'buyer beware' situation. She helps and guides landowners moving into the sector and is also consulted by local and national government, as well as organisations globally looking to follow the UK's lead on natural burial.