Death Cafe on Exmoor
Many of you will be unfamiliar with the idea of a Death Cafe, so – since we now have one meeting regularly in Dulverton – it seems the perfect moment to look at the idea further.
Back in 2010, a Londoner named Jon Underwood decided to develop a series of projects about death inspired by the work of Bernard Crettaz, who had organized the first ‘Café Mortel’ in Neuchâtel in 2004 with the aim of breaking the “tyrannical secrecy” surrounding the topic of death [discussed in his book, ‘Cafés Mortels: Sortir la Mort du Silence’ (Death Cafes: Bringing Death out of Silence)]. Jon decided to use a similar model for his own project, and Death Cafe was born in his home in Hackney in 2011. Jon went on to offer Death Cafes in a range of places including some funky cafes, people’s houses, cemeteries, a yurt and the Royal Festival Hall, before passing away suddenly in 2017. Death Cafes have spread quickly across Europe, North America and Australasia. It has been calculated that over 10200 Death Cafes have taken place, and in 69 countries, since September 2011.
Facilitators from many Death Cafes have observed that there is a real need among people to open the closet into which death – arguably the greatest taboo – has been placed, mainly as a means to reduce fear, but also to enable people to live more fully, at ease with their own mortality.
The international Death Cafe website states its purpose as:
“At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is simply a discussion group, rather than a grief support or counselling session.
Death Cafes are offered on a not-for-profit basis, in an accessible, respectful and confidential space, with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action – alongside refreshing drinks, and maybe even some cake!”
26 February 2020 - 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Fishers Mead Community Centre
Free entry: donations for refreshments
Tickets available from: