Barry Fowkes – Humanist Celebrant
Welcome to my website! I am a fully accredited humanist celebrant, conducting weddings and funerals in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties and am frequently asked to travel further afield, which I am more than happy to do.
As you are here, it is most probably because you are looking for a ceremony that focuses on what’s important for you. Whether it is a wedding ceremony or a funeral or memorial service for someone special, I work very closely with people to create and facilitate moments where meaning is given space to reveal itself and to be expressed with integrity and compassion. Very often, ceremonies of all types share the same elements of joy, sadness, friendship, humour, love, regret and hope as our lives are full of all of these things. Beginning with spending time with you, talking and listening to you with all of these elements in mind, my ceremonies are then custom-designed to reflect your wishes and your sense of meaning; personal, joyful, uplifting, moving, profound, funny, dignified and, well, just very human! I love what I do and am passionate about people, writing and delivering the best ceremonies that I can.
Aside from conducting ceremonies, I am also an illustrator and a musician. I teach woodwind privately and play the saxophone in a busy 6-piece festival and party band – soul, funk, rock, northern soul and ska. By day, I am a freelance illustrator and designer graduating from the Falmouth School of Art and have, over the years, developed a deep interest in sculpture and ceramics and have built a pottery studio in my back garden for exploring this next step.
I was first drawn to humanism whilst searching for a non-religious alternative to christenings for my son and daughter in the early 2000s and found Humanists UK. Until this point, I was unaware that my own non-religious and secular worldviews, which I arrived at fairly early on in life, were represented by humanist philosophy. Like countless others, I guess I’ve always been a humanist but hadn’t realised it until I needed to mark an important event. Both of my children’s humanist naming ceremonies were so personal and meaningful that I knew then that I wanted to be able to conduct ceremonies like this myself one day. And here I am!