Funeral Directors in Totnes, Buckfastleigh, South Hams and Teignbridge
Jane Morrell established her funeral company in 1999 and her husband Simon Smith joined her in 2005. Birte and Paul, also a married couple, joined our team. We are passionate about what we do, so that we can serve you in the best way we can, giving you time and attention when you most need it. We have been voted Good Funeral Guide Funeral Director Of The Year for the work we do. We believe each funeral should be exactly suited to the life, character and values of the person who has died, and that the close circle of the person be able to do what they need to do during this period to help the grieving process.
With Heart & Soul Funerals you are choosing a value led family owned and run company. Not born and bred into the funeral sector, we (Jane Morrell and Simon Smith) came gradually into this work with a passion fired by our own experiences of close deaths.
Fifteen years on, with the addition of colleagues Birte and Paul, we are now award-winning and highly qualified funeral directors (NAFD Funeral Directors Diploma; Bath University Degree In Funeral Services and Diplomas in Therapeutic Counselling, Accredited Member of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners) and we put everything we’ve got into ensuring that you have a funeral with heart and soul, one that expresses love and meaning through beauty, whatever your beliefs.
Gentle, Thoughtful & Inclusive
"We are grateful for the very generous help, wise counsel and support you gave in the difficult days following Mum’s death. Saturday’s farewell and celebration of her life will remain with us all for a long time. It couldn’t have been done better."
I am founder and director of Heart & Soul Funerals and Green Fuse Funeral Training.
My passion is for improving the experiences of the bereaved of funerals. This is rooted in my own personal experience of the death of my father. Excluded from attending his funeral when I was ten, this has had an enormous impact on my life.
I opened the Green Fuse flower shop in Station Road Totnes in 1999. My aim was to provide flowers and ceremonies to mark life's big moments. I put some coffins amongst the flowers and what people came to me for most was to help them organise funerals. The first one was for a young man who had died of an overdose, the son of a fellow Totnes trader. We also ran 'death and dying' groups in the shop which were well attended. One group decided they wanted to attend monthly and did so for a year. I found that working with the bereaved at the time of a death became my passion and has remained so for over 20 years now.
Through Green Fuse we train funeral celebrants and funeral arrangers across the UK to give families support and information to find their own way to say farewell.
We are also authors of the book ‘We Need To Talk About The Funeral - 101 Practical Ways To Commemorate And Celebrate A Life’, a guide based on their work with families.
I am a director of Heart & Soul Funerals and Green Fuse Bereavement Care and work as a funeral director, arranger and celebrant. I also teach on the Green Fuse funeral celebrant and arranger trainings.
I came into this work when Jane Morrell set up Green Fuse in 1999 and have been full time since 2005. I feel that working with the bereaved and the dying is the most fulfilling and inspiring work I can do and I really want to make a difference, to help make the experience of the death, the funeral and grief in some way life affirming. Yes I accompany people at a low ebb in their lives, but also at a time when they find the courage and the spirit to make meaning from what is happening to them.
My first experience of death was when my first wife died in her early 40s. We had been separated for a year, but I arranged her funeral. Afterwards I found out that the funeral directors could have made the process easier for me – I felt channelled along their way of doing things. This brought me to think that what bereaved people need are information, openness and support to make their own decisions, for a funeral that fits their own culture, values and lifestyle.
I have the Foundation Degree in Funeral Services from Bath University, and I am an Accredited Member of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners. I also trained in psychotherapy and wrote a book called Inner Leadership based on that work. With Jane I co-authored We Need To Talk About The Funeral – 101 Practical Ways to Commemorate and Celebrate A Life.
I love music and words, so putting together ceremonies is a great pleasure for me.
Paul joined us in January 2021 after a career as a Steiner teacher. Married to Birte, together they make a warm and effective team to help and guide families through the whole process of the funeral.
My journey towards Heart & Soul funerals began in Germany; my mother died when I was 17 and I was a spectator at her funeral with no idea where she had been between her death and the funeral, nor had any involvement in the preparation for her funeral to not knowing where she was taken after the service.
When my father was nearing the end of his life I started to ask questions and looked around for other options to make his journey one that was accompanied by his family. I was so grateful to meet Michael and Margit Keunecke who supported and enabled us to care for my father, spend as much time with him as we needed after his death and made his funeral a real farewell, rather than a formality and with that also enabling a healthy grief process.
This was such an inspiring journey that it lit a flame which has burned ever since and brought me first to train with Simon and Jane in 2005, then to do the Bereavement Support Training with Cruse and on to the Diploma in Funeral Directing with the NAFD in 2010.
I have spent ten years with the Co-Op in and around Birmingham first as a Funeral Administrator working with families and then as Funeral Director looking after several funeral homes. I’m very glad to have had the rich experience of looking after families of a very diverse population in the Midlands. It is a great privilege to help families and friends begin their goodbye to those they love, and each family has touched me in some way, for no man is an island…….
Our bereavement worker! Many people who visit us are comforted by Tati’s quiet attention - she has even been invited to funerals to comfort children. Although now at the ripe old age of 16 she is largely taking a well earned rest. But she did achieve notoriety with a full page article about her in The Funeral Service Times.
Why choose us?
Not all funeral directors are the same.
When you choose Heart & Soul Funerals, you are choosing:
|Gentle||a family owned and run company that offers a very high level of attention and gentle care|
|Thoughtful||a thoughtful and flexible approach that enables you to have the right funeral for the person who has died|
|Inclusive||an inclusive approach, whatever your needs, beliefs, situation, we want to help|
|Professional||a professional, experienced and qualified team – Good Funeral Guide Funeral Directors Of The Year|
|Peaceful||a beautiful and peaceful funeral home by the River Dart to visit your loved person and state of the art facilities for their care|
|Transparent||a funeral director with a Fair Funerals Pledge, an absolutely transparent pricing policy – no hidden mark-ups|
We have our beautiful funeral home by the River Dart, with the most modern facilities to care for the person who has died. Family and friends can gather together in the beautiful ceremony room for the funeral, vigil and wake. This gives a real alternative for those who want to hold the funeral locally or away from the crematorium.
We are funeral directors covering Devon, Totnes, Ivybridge, Buckfastleigh, Ashburton, South Brent, Kingsbridge, South Hams, Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth, South Devon, Central Devon.
We are full members of the trade association SAIF and abide by their code of practice. We are recommended in The Good Funeral Guide and by The Natural Death Centre.