A YOUNG Taunton teenager has become the youngest qualified funeral director in the UK.

James Chorley joined Crescent Funeral Services in Taunton as an apprentice after leaving Heathfield School at the age of 16.

As part of his apprenticeship, James undertook his professional training with the Independent Funeral Directors College (IFDC), receiving specialist tutoring to complete his Certificate in Funeral Practice.

The training usually takes three years but James recently collected his certificate aged 18 after completing the course in just two years.

Simon Helliar-Moore, director of Crescent Funeral Services, praised the teen's dedication.

β€œIt has been amazing to witness James applying himself to learning all aspects of the funeral profession," he said.

"We have not held back from supporting James with his training, allowing him to experience all aspects of the profession and this has certainly helped him gain this qualification.

"Along with hard work and determination, James is a credit to the profession and has a bright career ahead of him.”

James was presented with his certificate at the funeral practice, watched by his colleagues at Crescent Funeral Services, his mum Sarah and his tutor, Gemma O’ Driscoll via Zoom.