Born and educated in Liverpool, Charles started working in the family company as a teenager during school holidays, making coffins and washing the limousines. Charles has been hands-on and full time in the business since 1993.
What’s the overall philosophy of the Craven Group?
“Top quality at a fair price… I want us to be known as ‘the best’, where you come when only the best will do. Everyone here is told to always try their very hardest and to treat each deceased person as though it were their own mum. My predecessors at Craven built a strong business base through reputation and it is my job to protect and enhance that.”
Describe the Craven service to a potential customer
“Traditional standards and values that ensure you’ll be treated as a respected customer by a team of staff which appreciates that you chose us – so we’re always grateful that you gave us the opportunity to help and serve you.”
How do you help customers through this difficult time?
“By really listening to what they want and offering suggestions and guidance based upon a combination of their request and our vast experience.”
What makes Craven different?
“It’s unusual these days that the man with his name above the door (that’s me!) is still here and working and seeing clients on a daily basis.”
Why has Craven proved so successful over the years?
“Because we try so hard. Because we charge appropriately. Because we invest a lot of money to maintain our standards. And because our staff members are so good.”
What are the main rewards of your role?
“My satisfaction comes from doing my best then seeing a job well done and being thanked by the clients. We spend our days helping people who are in a trying and stressful time and it is heart-warming to see that we relieve some of that burden.”
What attributes do you need to be a funeral director?
“Patience, tact, diplomacy, the ability to read people and their moods, an understanding of how grief manifests itself, excellent self presentation. It helps to have suffered a bereavement too…”
What will your own funeral be like?
“A mass in Old Swan then cremation at Springwood followed by a bloody good party for anyone who can be bothered to show up. I want my ashes to be scattered to the wind off the eastern summit of Suilven in Inverpolly, Scotland. That’ll be a hell of a day for someone. And they have to walk me up, no helicopters allowed!”
What do you like to do away from work?
I’m usually at work from 7.30am to 6.30pm and then try to cram quite a lot in to my evenings, I’m not very good at sitting still, I much prefer to be active.
I go to the gym three evenings per week at least and go cycling with friends on two evenings. I like to go scrambling on crags in the Lake District and Snowdonia and exploring routes on the spectacular high ridges of North West Scotland. I do a little bit of snow boarding but have only done this at the Trafford Centre and in Scotland, never abroad. One day I’d like to go to snow boarding in the Canadian Rockies. I also like wake boarding and often go on the cables at the Albert Dock although I treat myself to the warm waters of a Spanish Lake once or twice a year. My main passion away from work is racing my Kart. I compete in Division 1 for Superkarts and won the British National Championship in 2012 and the Irish Championship in 2016 and 2017.