Funeral firm offers on-screen tributes to loved ones

Poignant images of deceased loved ones are being played on a giant TV screen as part of an innovative service offered by a Sunderland funeral company.

MG Memorials offers grieving Wearsiders the chance to create a lasting on-screen tribute to their deceased family members.

Gavin Brettell, who runs the firm with wife Maria, says the idea is proving popular in the city.

"The feedback we have had is very positive," he said. "They say it gives them something positive to focus on during the service."

Although the firm has a 60-inch plasma screen based at Sunderland Crematorium, the idea can also be used in churches.

As part of the package, images of the deceased are played on the screen with a backdrop, which includes waterfalls and the SAFC crest, of the family's choice.

A number of funeral directors have backed the idea and can incorporate it within their service.

Gavin said: "We came up with the concept while working on ideas for our company MG Events. We cover weddings and christenings and a funeral is very much an event.

"Recent funerals, such a Jade Goody's, have very much been about celebrating life.

"The images can tell the story of that person's life. Funerals are a sad time, but we feel like the screen gives people something happy to focus on. With the images, music of the family's choice, and computer graphics it is a very poignant tribute."

As well as offering families the chance to buy a DVD of the tribute, MG Memorials has also set up a tribute page on their website where people who use their services can upload photos and light online candles in memory of the deceased.

Online tribute sites, such as Gone Too Soon, have proved popular in recent years, but Gavin said the MG website was a good way to remember Wearsiders.

He said: "It's a place where people can go online and leave messages. Hopefully, we can bring them comfort in what is a sad time."

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