A GRIEVING woman says she cannot afford to bury her brother’s body because it costs too much at council-run graveyards.

Angela McCulloch’s brother John Kirby died suddenly aged 48 after being diagnosed with four types of terminal cancer.

Earlier this month John, who was a busker in Brighton, was told he had pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, and glandular cancer. Just days before, he had gone into hospital thinking he had a stomach ulcer.

Angela wants to bury his body, but is having to settle for cremation because it is cheaper. Even this is too expensive for her, and she has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a service.

Angela said: “We are absolutely devastated and are struggling to find the funds to cover the cost of the service.

“It doesn’t feel right just to cremate him, but burial is more expensive and would cost at least £4000. My mother was buried, and it took my family years to pay off the cost.

“I’m paying £2,500 for a cremation with a service at Woodvale Crematorium. That’s with the most basic wood-effect coffin and doesn’t include a priest. It’s really horrible but we’ve had to go for the cheapest of the cheap.

“I can’t bear the thought of it. We want a service so we can remember him with dignity. I’m Catholic, and we don’t cremate. We get buried. It’s ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We go back to the earth. We really feel that.

“This doesn’t feel right. But I don’t have any other choice.

“I’’m a housekeeper in a care home on a low income. If you’re on benefits, you get money towards funeral care. But I don’t. Brighton is among the more expensive places for in the country for cremation.”

Nationally, cremation costs at council-run sites have risen by nearly a fifth since 2015.

In Brighton and Hove, the basic fee for cremation at the council-managed Woodvale Crematorium is £658, though additional fees (for example the cost of collecting a body) and services arranged by funeral directors can add thousands to that figure.

Burial is more expensive. In Brighton, a council burial costs £947, plus a compulsory £698 charge to purchase an ‘exclusive right of burial’.

An employee at a funeral parlour in Brighton said people can expect to pay a further £1,500 in extra costs. She did not wish to be named, but said: “It’s buying the burial plot that makes it expensive.

“The cost of our simple plan for cremation or burial is £1895. But then there are additional third party fees including the cost of a minister, doctors’ fees, and crematorium fees, which add up to about £1,000 on top for cremation and £1,500 for burial. It’s a personal choice and people have to weigh up the financial side of it.”

But a council spokesman said: “Our standard cremation charge of £658 is cheaper than neighbouring councils. Adur and Worthing charges £895, while Eastbourne charges £715.

“Our standard charge includes chapel time as well as medical and environmental fees. We offer a range of options to suit different pockets, including some that cost less than the standard charge. Help can be available from the Department for Work and Pensions or from charities such as quakersocialaction.org.uk for people struggling with funeral costs.”

You can donate to Angela’s GoFundMe at https://tinyurl.com/sr2xtze.