Many regular visitors to Cornwall choose to be married in Cornwall, and dream of having a longer stay later when the time comes - by being buried in a scenic Cornish churchyard and resting in peace by the sea. Sadly until now it has been much easier to get into a Cornish churchyard alive than dead due to space restrictions and the priority given to the faithful living locally. Even residents may have to pass interviews with a vicar to secure these precious afterlife places for themselves and their family, even when subdividing family plots. In an increasingly secular age, decaying churches simply have not been able to find the funds to expand their interment offerings, but now one enterprising Cornish church is opening new doors to the afterlife in their ancient churchyard.
Secluded St Levan Church, resting in a tiny valley within earshot of the surf at scenic Porthcurno, this week unveiled ground-breaking plans for a multi-storey luxury catacomb, to be tastefully constructed beneath the existing churchyard using state of the art technology, materials and funding instruments. This innovative union of God and Mammon is expected to fund the church in perpetuity while providing much needed housing for high net worth individuals.
The project will be managed by Truro developer startup DioSys Plc, whose Chief Technical Officer Dr Petra Barrowman announced key features this week. Dr Barrowman said, "We aim to offer deep luxury, with full climate control, cryogenic chambers, virtual visitor access, and full spectrum connectivity. In recognition of the trend for luxury living in showy houses like glass boxes, we will also offer glass fronted units so those who lived in glass houses can show their bones. Changing climate conditions have also been accounted for - in the event of rising sea levels or even human extinction, the entire unit will rise up out of the ground so the wealthy can stay high and dry. We'll be launching an online competition to name the deepest suite, provisionally called the Presidential Suite, with the winner receiving a time-limited option on an entry-level plot mortgage. In Phase 1 of the Buried Treasure marketing plan, we will be auctioning spaces online to the highest bidders, who are predicted to buy them in bulk as secure investment vehicles, especially from China. Public trading of these assets will be assisted by the establishment of options trading, so that some savvy funds can make a killing in trading in the funeral futures market."
Cornwall Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Envelopment, Mr Glyn Welly commented, "We are delighted at how this will breathe life into the local economy, and we are applying to the DTI for a central government grant to declare West Penwith an End Of Life Enterprise Area - unlocking the EOLEA funds and further removing damaging planning controls will help us implement similar undertakings at all of our sadly underexploited ancient monuments, and tap the blossoming billionaire mortality market. Some backward-looking doomsayers claim capitalism is dying, but there is money in the afterlife and from a profitability perspective, multiple consultants have advised us that the best tourist is a dead tourist."
The investment prospectus is currently slated for release in 2021, on the very first day of the second quarter of the year, and those unable to wait until then are being advised to give instructions to their executors in advance.