Funerals

 

A Humanist funeral celebrates life!

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I can remember the first Humanist funeral I ever went to. There was such warmth and humanity. There was so much to share and celebrate. We discovered things we didn’t know. We laughed and cried. We listened to my friend’s favourite music and read out extracts from his favourite books. We learnt things about ourselves and about each other, too. A Humanist funeral celebrates life, so it’s not surprising that many of us came away feeling nourished.

I’m a celebrant who can make a proper occasion out of a funeral. I have a strong sense of the power of words and what the human voice can do. But what motivates me goes far beyond that. I feel profoundly connected to human beings. I care how we treat one another. I care about the quality of our lives. A funeral isn’t just about the end of a life, it’s about the legacy we’ve been left. It’s about how that person has helped to shape us. If we are the sum total of our lives, we must surely be, in part, the sum total of everyone we have ever met.

I have been working as a funeral celebrant since December 2011. I see my role very much as a facilitator. Too many people feel pushed into the ‘flat-pack’ funeral. Whatever you want, I will do my utmost to support you and help make happen.

To date, I’ve conducted ceremonies in crematoria, cemeteries, natural burial grounds, hotels, pubs, village halls and people’s back gardens and sitting rooms. I once conducted a memorial on a narrow boat – a delightful and unforgettable morning. It was both poignant and life-affirming. 

There are so many options these days. The natural burial movement is flourishing. There are also some less expensive alternatives to the high street funeral director. I recommend The Good Funeral Guide for those who want to plan ahead. You’ll find just about everything you need to know from their website.

 

Exciting news! I’m runner-up ‘Celebrant of the Year’ for 2016’s Good Funeral Awards. It’s hotly contested so I feel chuffed and very privileged to be in the company of so many excellent celebrants. Thank you to those who have been kind enough to put me forward me in the first place and thank you to everyone who has supported the nomination.

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Things are changing. People are more likely to talk about the kind of funeral they want and more people want to play a really positive and active role in honouring those wishes. Planning a funeral can be a creative and even an enjoyable experience.

Here are some useful links you might like to explore:

Death Cafes

Dying Matters

Final Fling

Kicking the Bucket

Westmill Woodand Burial Ground