Tag Archives: john bingham

“You’re probably going to be too poor to be buried!” says insurance company

The not-so-great leveller: dramatic differences in cost of dying just miles apart

Bereaved cutting back on flowers and opting for cheaper coffins to curb impact of funeral inflation

It is meant to be the great leveller but in Britain even death comes with a dramatically different price tag depending on where you live.

New research has exposed wide variations – as extreme as differences in house price – between the cost of funerals and burials in different postcodes.

Source: Telegraph, 5th October 2015


Average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in one year, says new report

‘Vulnerable bereaved people are taking on increased debt; and we predict this problem will worsen’

The average cost of a basic funeral has leapt by £140 in the space of a year, a report has found.

Across the UK, the typical cost is now £3,702, a 3.9 per cent increase compared with 2014, when the average cost was £3,562, the insurer Royal London said.

Source: Independent, 5th Ocotber 2015


This story garnered a lot of coverage recently, not just in the Telegraph and Independent, but also in the BBC, the Guardian, the Mirror and a host of local sources. Which would be fine, if all of those outlets made it absolutely clear that this story was sourced by an insurance company:

Simon Cox, a funeral cost expert at Royal London, said: “Our study shows people are striving to meet funeral price hikes, which they have little control over.

“Given the stressful situation, shopping around for a funeral is often not an option.

“Instead people are coping by cutting back on non-essentials if possible, and reconsidering how loved ones are buried.

While it’s undoubtedly true that funerals are costly affairs, it’s equally true that there’s a clear financial incentive for an insurance company to ensure people are afraid that their loved ones won’t have enough money to pay for their burial once they’re gone. I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to Royal London if they see an increase in interest in their life insurance policies as a result of stories like this. As ever with PR, it’s hard to distinguish the genuine message from the sales hook.

“Life begins at 45!” says dating site for over 40s

‘Life begins at 45’ when people are most content

Poll suggests middle aged are more content with life and secure in their relationships than younger people

It is a claim which has long offered solace to those facing the onset of middle age but new research suggests those pinning their hopes on the promise that life begins at 40 might have to wait at least another five years.

Polling found that those over the age of 45 are more content with life, happier in their relationships and feel more in touch with the world than their younger counterparts.

Source: Telegraph, 1 May 2014

Life begins at 45! How middle-aged people surrounded by family and friends are the happiest in Britain

Life might begin at 40 – but it seems those aged over 45 are the ones who really enjoy themselves.

According to a new survey, those in the middle-aged category are the happiest people in Britain.

In a survey of more than 2,000 adults, those over 45 – dubbed by researchers as the mid-life risers – came out on top, in part due to strong relationships with family and friends.

Source: Daily Mail, 1 May 2014

Good news for my post-40 readers: life is about to get very exciting and rosy for you, if it hasn’t already! While a number of reasons are cited in this particular piece of PR, the bonus happiness in relationships seems particularly key, given who paid for this story to appear in the news:

Samantha Bedford, from Love Begins At, said: ‘It’s great to look forward to life ahead with excitement – with the confidence and wherewithal to make the most of the opportunities available.

‘These mid-life risers are not about fading into grey. It’s about moving into a new stage of life, post-children and preparing to try something new. These over 45s are often moving into a new stage of their romantic life too.

‘Independent, confident and content looking, they’re no longer looking for the mother or father of their children but for a partner to enjoy life with.’

So, now that you’ve had your middle-aged ego boosted, why not go out there and bag yourself a new lover? Samantha’s ‘Love Begins At’ dating website for the over 40s is presumably where you’re meant to start.

“Old age can be hard and frustrating!” says stairlift company

“Old age can be hard and frustrating!” says stairlift company

“Children know too little about Jesus!” says the Bible Society

Christmas is coming, and hot on the heels of results from the UK census showing that Christianity is dwindling we have another blow to the faithful:

Scandal of Mary and Joseph passes most Britons by – as they place Father Christmas by the manger

Only a quarter of Britons are aware that Jesus was born out of wedlock while some even believe that Father Christmas was part of the nativity scene, a survey has found.

While many could be forgiven for confusion over Mary and Joseph’s exact marital status, the study also highlights more unexpected gaps in the nation’s knowledge of the Christmas story.

Scores of people tested thought Jesus was placed in a Moses basket rather than a manger.

Source: Telegraph, 17 December 2012


Nearly 40% of Britons believe baby Jesus’ first visitor was SANTA and that he slept in a basket

Despite nativity plays commencing in schools across the country, it seems many people struggle with the storyline of the birth of baby Jesus.

A majority of Britons appear to be unaware that Jesus was born out of wedlock and some believe that the first person to visit the manger was Santa.

Only 26 per cent knew that Mary and Joseph were betrothed when asked about the story of the birth of Christ, a survey revealed.

Source: Daily Mail, 17 December 2012


Pause for a moment and consider that 40% figure – four in ten people really think Santa was present at the birth of Jesus? Four people in every ten think a fictional character… was visited by Santa? Well, no… at least not when compared to the correlating statistic in the Telegraph:

The pollsters ICM asked just over 1,000 children and 1,000 parents to take a short multiple-choice test to gauge their knowledge of the Christmas story on behalf of the Bible Society…

When asked who first visited the baby Jesus, only 46 per cent correctly identified the Shepherds while almost as many thought it was the wise men, and 13 per cent suggested angels.

In total 37 people thought that the answer was Father Christmas.

In fact, the supposed 40% of people as reported in the Mail was actually fewer than 40 people in total. Of which, many are likely to be children. Which makes a lot more sense, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Leaving aside the very real doubts over the nativity story as described in the gospels – such as the inclusion of a census, stable, shepherds, and in fact any proof that Jesus existed – is there a reason why we might suspect there’s more to this story than it seems at first? Like, say, an undeclared invested interest biasing the results?

Over 2,000 children and parents were polled on behalf of the Bible Society about their nativity play knowledge, and the results showed some major holes in the story.

So the Bible Society, in the same week that statistics show there are fewer Christians in the country than expected, thinks children know too little about the Christian holy book. Go figure.