Philip Pawley

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As perfect as it could be

For us it was as perfect as it could be. The whole experience was both professional but so supportive too. Thank you to all concerned, particularly Phil.

Peaceful and great for remembering

All went very well. Lovely place. Peaceful and great for remembering.

Beautiful and Peaceful

A beautiful, peaceful place to be buried in peace.

A lovely place

It’s a lovely place. We liked the simplicity and lack of development.

Lovely and warm under the trees

In 2015, my wife was buried at Leedam. At the time my address was Reading, subsequently I have moved to Portugal. I was back in the UK in the last few days and I visited the burial ground and I thought it was lovely, already started to turn into a great woodland. It was lovely and warm under the trees.

Totally delighted with the place

I just wanted you to know that I took my father to the burial ground today. He just about managed the walk from the car to the plot. He was totally delighted with the place. He was so happy for my mum. So happy with the decision. It was such a happy trip.

A beautiful place to come back to

We were met at the burial ground in a timely and kindly manner. Nothing could have been improved upon. The setting was perfect for a peaceful family burial. It is a beautiful place to come back to and spend time there. We felt welcomed and at home there. We will return regularly which will be helpful to us all.

Simple and Beautiful

Les’s burial went very smoothly, was simple and beautiful and just as he, and we, wanted. We’re happy he is in such a lovely resting place.

Exactly as we hoped it would be

It was exactly as we hoped it would be. Everything was natural, and prepared ready for the ceremony to commence on time.

Simply Wonderful

The tranquillity and the beauty of the burial grounds are simply wonderful. The simplicity and informality are also part of the reason for choosing the burial ground, sometimes it’s best to leave the process well alone.

Beautifully Presented

Andy was fantastic throughout. Her very caring & friendly manner made eased the process. The grave was beautifully presented with the straw bedding & wooden frame.

The perfect resting spot

Thank you for being there yesterday too – your subtle presence was a comfort. Everything went very smoothly and the grave was beautifully presented. We had a wonderful lunch afterwards at The Malsters Arms – so thank you for that recommendation too.

My family were delighted the woodland site – we all agreed it is the perfect resting spot for our parents. It is gives us great peace of mind to know that mum and dad (and puss!) are together again in such a beautiful and peaceful setting.

A beautiful peaceful final resting place

It was so kind of you to spend so much time showing us around and explaining everything in advance of his service on Thursday. Knowing where Pete (my late husband )would lie at rest and getting an understanding of the ethos of the natural burial ground made it a less bewildering day.

We have received so many messages from family and friends saying what a beautiful peaceful final resting place Pete (he) now occupies and we are most grateful for all your help.

– Carole (23 Sept 2022)

A perfect setting

We were so lucky with the weather that it made it a perfect setting for our aunt’s interment. Thank you so much to Andy for all her help and support. It is a lovely place and to have organised it in advance have a great sense of comfort to all of us. Thank you.

– Rebecca Steward (27 April 2022)

The most beautiful ceremony

It was the most beautiful ceremony, exceeding our expectations. The sensitivity and respect in laying my Beloved to rest was palpable in everyone present. I know it was all that Nick would have wanted. Andy and Kris and his Team were absolutely wonderful and we the family, are deeply grateful. We are left with this perfect memory alongside our grief. I send you my heartfelt thanks.

Thank you to everyone who made it possible for us to lay nick to rest in such a perfect way. In due course, I wish the same for myself.

– Maxine Cooke (5 April 2022)

Everything was perfect

My husband and I saw it when we were on one of our favourite walks in the Chilterns and I knew immediately that I wanted my last resting place to be here. My husband asked if he could ‘come too’!

Everything was perfect. A massive thank you to Andy who made sure that we had all the information that we needed to make our arrangements; who was there to greet and guide us on the day; and who maintained a quiet and discreet presence throughout our burial ceremony.

– Bridget Morris (25 Jan 2022)

The perfect final resting spot

As soon as we visited the burial ground, we knew that it was the perfect final resting spot for our mother. It was the only thing that she had ever stipulated about her funeral – that she wanted to be buried – to connect again with the earth. It was the end of June and the long grasses were alive with butterflies and insects; all you could hear was birdsong.

We were welcomed by Andy, the custodian of the site, who made us feel very welcome and let us know that we could plan the day just as we wanted. This was something that was really important to both me and my brother; our hope was for a personal and intimate ceremony which is exactly what we got.

On the day of the funeral, we were blessed with beautiful sunshine and our friends and family gathered to celebrate my mum’s life. My brother was the celebrant and many others took it in turns to speak and recollect memories that we all shared. At the end, everyone commented on what a perfect place to bury our mother; she lived her life loving the outdoors and this was a beautiful spot for her to rest.

March 2021

A peaceful resting home

I’m very grateful to you for your care of my family. It’s a comfort to me that they are all together again in such beautiful and tranquil surroundings.

28 August 2020

A perfect funeral

My Daughter, Victoria, requested a natural burial and chose Henley.
We had a humanist ceremony and everything was perfect. I would thoroughly recommend a natural burial. We were very impressed with the service provided by Andy when showing us the site before the burial date and the help she provided on the day. My wife and I have decided to be buried here when our times come

28 October 2019

Don’t conform, do what your heart tells you

Peaceful, and the start of a beautiful woodland. Red kites flying above high on the thermals. My husband enjoyed being outdoors, especially in the woods, so Henley was the ideal place. On the day, we had immediate family only, no celebrant, Poppy his dog. The harp was played by a family member, and we all raised a toast of port from hip flasks (his favourite)

Andy, the lady at Henley-on-Thames natural burial ground is delightful. Totally supports and believes in your wishes. We recommend to forget conforming, do what your heart tells you.

27 August 2019

Wild, beautiful and ever-changing with the seasons

It was our Mother’s choice to be buried at Henley. We had a natural, simple burial with a couple of readings and some words spoken by whoever wanted. We’re so pleased that we had the freedom to conduct things how we felt were right for our Mother. Whilst we were blessed with fine weather, the burial ground provided a perfect ending to a wonderful life.

11 August 2019

It was completely natural and so peaceful.

The burial ground is close to home and it was Bob’s choice, he left a leaflet with a letter left us (his family). From the first ‘phone call I felt totally at ease. The next step was meeting the lovely Andy at the burial ground to discuss things. I am so pleased my lovely Bob is at peace in your Woodland Burial Ground.

7 January 2020

Beautiful and fitting

My Mum chose the burial ground herself. On the day, we had a Church service at Chickendon, followed by the burial at Henley. It was natural, peaceful, informal, beautiful. If you want a peaceful setting, free of headstones and yew trees, it’s a great choice. Some people may prefer clear indication of plot.

The burial was as beautiful and fitting as it could have been. We were not hurried or hassled and there was a lovely sense of peace.

26 July 2019

My husband would have loved it

We chose Henley because my husband wanted to be buried at the burial ground. We held a service in Reading, then came to the burial ground. It was just what the family wanted and laughter all the way through! My husband would have loved it.

3 July 2019

Secluded, natural and perfect

The funeral surpassed our expectations and was handled with great sensitivity and skill by Andy, the funeral director and the celebrant, Rebecca. We feel that our loved one, Frank, would have totally appreciated the occasion.

We loved the enthusiasm, passion and obvious devotion to the area of Andy – this did not feel like a commercial enterprise as was the case with other natural burial grounds.

11 August 2019

Quiet, peaceful, tranquil, restful, calm

The burial ground isquiet, peaceful, tranquil, restful and calm. It is such a beautiful spot to go and spend time with my son. Also, the custodian, Andy is a lovely lady, very thoughtful, kind and compassionate.

28 August 2018

The perfect location for Mum

We all feel that we have chosen the perfect location for mum. The site is beautiful with lovely views and the fact that all we could hear on the day was birdsong just reflected the peace and tranquillity. Andy was warm and welcoming and we really appreciated the freedom we were given to do exactly what we wanted. Being able to take our time and to just be together as a family in such a peaceful place was priceless.

12 October 2013

A beautiful occasion

I had always imagined that the funeral of my husband, if I had to face it, would be almost unbearable. When I knew he was terminally ill, I simply could not bear the idea that his whole life would end with half an hour, all rather hasty, at the local crematorium.

Once I had seen the natural burial ground, I knew that it would be totally different and that I could face it calmly.

Although desperately sad, it was a beautiful occasion which all the family felt was right and satisfying, and our grandchildren did not find intimidating.

I have since taken coffee and just sat upon the seat and thought, and enjoyed the peace of the surroundings, which is the sort of place we both loved. The nearby church clock strikes the hour which my husband would have appreciated.

As we wanted the occasion to be informal we asked the funeral directors if their attendants could be not in hats and black ties etc. They were delighted to lose their ties and be casual, as it was a warm day!

We had a memorial service the next day in Shiplake Church, where my husband was a bell-ringer.

15 September 2013