About Dan Leonard

Why I’m A Funeral Celebrant

When my dad died, I was utterly overwhelmed.  So many things needed to be taken care of that it felt like I didn’t even have time to properly grieve his death.

He wasn’t a religious man, so we called a celebrant from Humanists UK to lead his funeral.  That man sat with us and listened as we talked about my dad, allowing us to open our hearts, speak about the impact he’d had on us, and begin to process our loss.

In the midst of all the paperwork, telephone calls and general mayhem, it was as if someone had walked in and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this bit.”

That made a lasting impression on me and led me to train as a funeral celebrant.

I consider it an enormous privilege to come into peoples’ lives and hear about their loved ones, weaving those fond, cherished memories into a tribute that encapsulates who that person was and what they meant to everyone around them.

It’s an honour to be able to say to those who are going through the most painful moments of their lives, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this bit.”

How I Work

I will meet with you and your family, either in person or via video call, so that you can share your memories of your loved one.  My intention is to create a space where you can speak honestly and openly about them, allowing me to capture the essence of who they were.

Between us, we can structure the funeral to your specifications, incorporating music, video, personal tributes, poetry and readings.  I will work with you to ensure that their funeral is a unique and meaningful event which truly celebrates their life.

About Me

I was born in Rochford and have lived in and around Southend my entire life.

In my 30-year career as a civil servant, I’ve undertaken a number of different roles and have spent the last 15 years as a Security Advisor, writing guidance and content, running training courses, and giving presentations to audiences ranging from 20 to 200.

I’m a passionate film nerd; I love music of all kinds; I adore cooking; and I read voraciously.


Click here to read feedback kindly provided to me by families I have helped.