About Alex

Photograph of Alex

Alex Collis

Welcome to my Humanists UK web page. My name is Alex and I trained as a funeral celebrant in 2019.  I work mainly in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, but I have also led ceremonies in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and London.

A friend recently asked me what made me want to become a funeral celebrant.  It’s very simple really – I love to tell stories. Being able to sit with someone’s family and friends, to hear all about their life – who they were, what they did with their time here and what impact they had on the people and places around them – and to help them celebrate that person is the biggest privilege of all.

Each ceremony I have conducted has been unique, special to the person who died, and has told their story.  I have learned something new from every single one, whether it’s been a cremation, a woodland burial or a memorial service.

Almost ten years ago my father died very suddenly and my sisters and I found ourselves arranging his funeral.  A bit lost as to what to do for the best, one thing we were sure of was that we wanted a non-religious funeral and one that reflected his personality – his love of music, his interests in science and art – even down to the terrible dad jokes.  We found a humanist celebrant, and felt instinctively that it was the right fit for us and for our dad. And, as The Rolling Stones’ ‘Brown Sugar’ rang out over the Welsh hillside where we buried him, I knew we’d done the right thing.

One of six sisters, I have lived in and around Cambridge for most of my life.  My background is in community work, particularly food justice and., alongside my celebrant work, I run a community food hub in Cambridge after volunteering as coordinator for a COVID-response emergency food programme .  I am also a member of Humanists UK Pastoral Support Network (think non-religious hospital and prison chaplaincy) and am currently part of the chaplaincy team at the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge.

Please do get in touch if you would like to talk through how a humanist funeral works, or you would like me to conduct a funeral or memorial service for you.  You can also take a look at my personal celebrant web site, which has more information on the services I can provide as well as some useful links, including to my blog of Grief Stories.

What they say:

“Alex came to our family’s help as we struggled to know how to celebrate and deliver something appropriate at the end of our lovely mum’s life. Alex captured our memories and powerful feelings brilliantly, and told mum’s life story calmly and meaningfully. We felt we were in her hands and being looked after when we needed it most.”

“From our first meeting with you, you took a load of stress off our shoulders. I can’t thank you enough for all you did for us.”

“It was perfect – exactly what Mum would have wanted. You really went above and beyond for us.”

“Although we’ve both said it before, we really can’t say too much our sincere and utmost thanks for your input on Friday. Your words about W were spot on and it felt like you were more of a friend than someone we’d only met a few weeks ago.”

“The other thing that I liked was the compassion you had for my mum, and how caring you were, asking if she would have company and be looked after.”

“I can’t believe you never met her. The way you talked about her, it was like you’d known her for years.”

“Such wonderful words. Although it’s impossible to sum up a person on paper,  this is very close. The greatest compliment I can give is that if anyone wants to know about my dad, I shall show them this eulogy.”

We were very impressed and so grateful to you for the time you spent with us getting to know who he was. You truly reflected the wonderful kind and loving person that he was.  All those who attended, either by being there or watching on the webcast, have said it was one of the most moving and uplifting ceremonies they had been to.”

“Alex was wonderful – she managed to be supportive, caring, sensitive and very professional and was hugely generous with her time. Her writing was really expressive and brought Mum to life again. Alex’s humour and flair for this kind of work really stands out.”

“Alex was very kind and compassionate. The ceremony was just what we wanted and Alex was able to listen to us and put into words what we wanted to say but didn’t know how to.”

“Alex is a good listener and asked all the right questions, She was able to answer all the questions that I had, and was there to greet and calm us when we arrived for the funeral ceremony. She had been welcoming and speaking to friends and family as they had arrived. The actual ceremony was beautiful, and memorable, and Alex was able to really convey the character of this person who we loved. Many people told me afterwards that they thought that it was a beautiful celebration of that person who they had known. It could not have been better, and the poem that concluded the ceremony was just perfect. I am very grateful to Alex for making this a true and real celebration of my husband’s life, both for me, and for everyone there.”

“Alex was easy to talk to about dad and she gave me time to talk too. She understood completely what I was going through and was professional, compassionate and funny. It helped that she ‘got’ my dad and his love of music and his eccentric ways. Alex even went out of her way to add some special touches to dads service to make it personal. Alex helped in such a big way to make this a real celebration of dad’s life, which is exactly what family, and dad would have wanted. her words made us all cry but we also laughed too. She described him perfectly.”

Get in touch 

You can email me at alex@alexcolliscelebrant.co.uk or call 07587 297657