ESS call for the City of Edinburgh to clarify the status of Mortonhall Crematorium

Lately (July 2018) the Society has called for the City of Edinburgh to clarify the status of Mortonhall Crematorium. Despite the looming presence of a cross on the end wall of each chapel, the Crematorium’s website makes no declaration that it is a Christian building, dedicated only to Christian funerals. However, the Wikipedia website declares that it is ‘multi-denominational’. This description appears to derive from the brief the architects, Spence, Glover and Ferguson, were given by the City in 1960.

It is not clear if the City intended this term to cover all religions, but in fact it can only cover all Christian denominations (sects). It would exclude all other religions and of course those of no religion. If the City intended the term to imply that the building was to be secular or non-religious, that was a mistake.

ESS wants the Crematorium to be declared a secular building, open to all, regardless of religion. Consequently we have called for the crosses to be removed from the chapels and the Crematorium website changed.

The main chapel showing the cross.

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