Thousands give Littlehampton councillor a virtual send-off at funeral

Thousands of people tuned in online to watch the funeral of a popular town figure.

Chris Blanchard-Cooper
Chris Blanchard-Cooper

On Thursday, May 21, Arun district councillor Chris Blanchard-Cooper was laid to rest at Littlehampton Cemetery.

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People stood on the streets for a socially distanced goodbye as a hearse with Chris’ coffin drove down Maltravers Drive, Norfolk Road, South Terrace and Pier Road, before the ceremony led by the Rev. Martin Seymour at 10.30am.

Some well-wishers even threw roses on the hearse as it went past – a first for the funeral director – and those gathered outside the cemetery applauded as the vehicle arrived.

The ceremony was attended by Chris’ loved ones including his husband Billy and their friend Daniel Purchese, who set up the chapel so people could watch online. The video on Chris’ memorial Facebook page had more than 2,100 views.

The president of the Littlehampton Musical and Comedy Society passed away in his sleep from an underlying condition on Thursday, April 30, aged 45.

Billy said: “Thank you to all those who paid their respects to Chris in so many different ways and have shown so much love to myself and all the family.”

More than £2,600 has been donated for a memorial in Mewsbrook Park.