Funerals

“ Alison, I want to thank you for yesterday. You hit just the right notes in your presentation of my Mum’s life and personality, and everyone afterwards said how lovely it was and how perfectly the whole service reflected her. Thank you for your empathy, kindness and understanding at this difficult time. “  RA: Ceremony for EA, at Hereford Crematorium, June 2016

” Alison, I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you so much for making the ceremony on Friday so special. I feel it was a true celebration of M’s life. So many have said things like “I hope this doesn’t sound inappropriate, but that was the best funeral I’ve ever been to”! They remarked not only on the content, but also on the way you conducted the ceremony – the delivery, the tone, the light and shade, the humour….” PF: Ceremony for MF, at Hereford crematorium, April 2017

The death of someone close to us is always an intensely private affair, and it is very difficult to find the right words to use, particularly at such a sad and difficult time.

A humanist funeral provides the opportunity for a personal farewell, with the tributes, poems, and readings specially written or chosen for the occasion. I am happy to write much of the ceremony, based on all the information that I learn from you, or, if you prefer to write parts of it yourself, I can help you deliver it in a way that fully celebrates the life of the one you have lost. The ceremony won’t include anything you don’t want, and it can be as grand or as simple as you wish.

I always visit families at home in order to learn about the person who has died, and to plan the funeral. I write a draft funeral script based on everything we have discussed, and then spend time finalizing this with the family to get it absolutely right for them. This can take quite some time, but it is very important to get it right. It is a real privilege to be of service at what is a very important time in people’s lives.

I regularly take ceremonies at Hereford, Shrewsbury, The Forest of Dean and other local crematoria, and also conduct burials at cemeteries and woodland burial sites across the area, and sometimes on family land. I am happy to travel further afield when required. I work closely with a number of funeral directors in the local area. I also conduct memorial ceremonies in a variety of locations – village halls, event venues, pubs – or wherever suits.

From time to time I am asked to see people before they die to help them think about the kind of ceremony they want: it is never an easy conversation to have, but it can be very helpful, both for those approaching their death, and for those closest to them. It is an honour to be able to do this for someone as they face the end of their life.

‘I just wanted to thank you so much for such a lovely lovely service yesterday. Everyone loved it and commented on how much B would have loved it….it really suited her. You made a difficult task so very much easier. Thank you. ”  TL: Ceremony for BL, at Hereford Crematorium, September 2016
“Alison, Thank you so much for all you did today and all the work you put in. I thought both burial and memorial were truly wonderful and I’m certain dad would have been really proud of what we put together and how well you delivered it all. I’m really grateful.” CJ: Burial and Memorial Service for EJ, January 2017