At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.
The objective of Death Cafe is To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.
Our Death Cafes are discussions about death that are always offered:
On a not for profit basis, though to be sustainable we try to cover expenses through donations and fundraising
In an accessible, respectful and confidential space, free of discrimination, where people can express their views safely
With no intention of leading participants towards any particular conclusion, product or course of action
Alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food – and cake!
Death Cafe is based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz (above), a Swiss sociologist and anthropologist, who set up Cafes Mortels. Jon read about the first Death Cafe to take place in Paris in the Independent newspaper in 2010 and immediately decided to offer Death Cafes himself.
The first Death Cafe in the UK was offered in Jon's house in September 2011. It was facilitated by pychotherapist Sue Barsky Reid and was a wonderful occasion. We went on to offer Death Cafes in a range of places including funky cafes, people's houses, a yurt and the Royal Festival Hall.
Jon and Sue Barsky Reid produced a guide to running your own Death Cafe, based around the methodology Sue developed. This was published in Feb. 2012 and first person to pick it up was Lizzy Miles in Columbus, Ohio. Subsequently around 20 people have worked with us to provide Death Cafes in England, the U.S., Wales, Australia, Brazil and Canada.
To date over 40 Death Cafes have been offered to over 300 participants, including some dedicated Death Cafes for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people. We have had widespread press coverage and it was a proud moment to have an excellent piece in the Independent newspaper where we'd originally come across the idea for Death Cafe.
Death Cafe is now an established 'social franchise' that is spreading quickly across the globe. We remain energised by the amazing quality of the dialogue at our events, the people we connect with and the interest we have received.
Our plans for the future include a custom-build Death Cafe website, working with specific groups - especially older and younger people, ex-offenders and people with substance misuse problems - and opening a pop-up cafe.
If you want to find out more about Death Cafe please do visit us:
We'd love to hear from you especially if you're interested in holding or commissioning a Death Cafe yourselves. Please do Contact Us.
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