A RIBBLE Valley vicar is set to hold a Death Cafe event to offer an informal environment to ‘tackle the last taboo subject in society’.

The Rev Andy Froud, of St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Clitheroe, wants the sessions to be a forum for people to ‘come to terms’ with one of the facts of life.

Attendees are invited to start a discussion aimed at covering all aspects of mortality or their personal experiences of a family member or friend. The Rev Froud will host the first public session at Caffè Nero, in Castle Road, on Thursday, July 24, from 2pm to 4pm.

Sessions have already been held at St Christopher’s CE High School, in Accrington, and at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form.

The event is part of the Church of England’s response to a series of events called Death Cafe which originated in London more than five years ago. The Diocese of Blackburn is a trial diocese for similar events.

The Rev Froud, who has overseen 40 funerals at his church, said: “The debates at the two schools were fascinating.

“You just didn’t know the direction they were going to turn.

“Some people talked about their experience of a family member or friend dying, and others started talking about plans for their own funeral.

“It’s not supposed to be morbid at all, it’s supposed to be an informal setting where people can address the last taboo in our society.

“We are terrible at talking about death and I hope that this is one way that the church can change that.

“Death is a reality of life for all of us and a fact of life.

“I hope that it will be a place where people can have a laugh but also have a serious discussion.

“Overall, I hope that the session is a success and helps people with a tricky and uncomfortable topic.”