Church of England faces calls to ban funeral flower arrangements

Church of England faces calls to ban funeral flower arrangements: Officials are told moss used to spell loved ones’ names is ‘damaging’ the planet and they should use pebbles, sand or foam

  • Church of England faces calls to ban floral funeral arrangements
  • General Synod urged to consider banning ‘damaging’ floral foam
  • Call for floral foam ban as part of Church’s net zero goal










The Church of England is facing calls to ban funeral flower arrangements deemed “harmful” and “damaging” to the planet.

Its legislative body, the General Synod, has been asked to consider a ban on floral foam, which provides both water and support for cut flower arrangements, in favor of more environmentally friendly options.

The foam is not biodegradable and is used to spell out the names of the deceased at funerals, or is cut into elaborate shapes for weddings.

Christians are now being asked to reconsider their use of “harmful plastic products” and to use objects such as pebbles, sand, moss and flower frogs to mark occasions.

The call for a ban on floral foam came as part of the Church’s goal to reach “net zero” by 2030.

The Church of England is facing calls to ban floral funeral arrangements deemed ‘harmful’ and ‘damaging’ to the planet (stock image)

In a written question to General Synod, lay member Charles Houston suggested there should be penalties or repercussions for the use of floral foam and imported flowers in churches.

He also accused officials of “neglecting the widespread use of one of the most harmful plastic-related products in current use”, the Telegraph reported.

Mr Houston asked Church authorities to “immediately ban all floral foam in its buildings, both in weekly blooms, but especially at weddings and funerals”.

The Archdeacon of Sunderland called the topic “interesting” and one that has yet to be considered nationally as policy set by individual parishes. However, he said churches are increasingly popular for finding alternatives to floral foam.

The foam is not biodegradable and is used to spell out the names of the deceased at funerals, or is cut into elaborate shapes for weddings (stock image)

The foam is not biodegradable and is used to spell out the names of the deceased at funerals, or is cut into elaborate shapes for weddings (stock image)

Eco Church, the Church of England’s environmental movement of churches, is run by its partner organization A Rocha UK.

The proposed floral foam ban has been forwarded to Eco Church, the Church of England’s movement of churches taking environmental action, is run by its partner organization A Rocha UK for their consideration.

Helen Stephens, head of Eco Church, told the newspaper: “We are aware of the growing awareness and concern about the environmental and health impacts of floral foam in particular and flower supply in general.

“As indeed, there are impacts on many other goods and services that we use in our church communities and in everyday life.”

Churches already taking action include St Bartholomew’s in Harpley, which is promoting a ‘moss-free church and graveyard flower arrangements’.

Calstock Parish Council in Cornwall is also banning synthetic ornaments and flowers from graveyards, insisting it is ‘everyone’s responsibility to do what we can in this climate emergency’.

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