Are you thinking about arranging a non-religious funeral in the Surrey, Sussex or Hampshire area? You probably already have a lot on your mind, and creating an appropriate ceremony to remember someone, and say goodbye, takes time and thought. There are many options, so for an initial chat about what might be right for you please call me on 07855 272241 (any time is fine).
Ceremonies where all who attend sense their presence is valued feel the most inclusive. Family members and friends often choose to read some meaningful words themselves, and tributes can include a diverse mix of heartfelt contributions, including traditional hymns or prayers. I always encourage those who have something personal to add to do so, and can discreetly step in to speak on behalf of anyone who feels overcome by emotion in the moment. For those who are less sure of what they would like in the way of readings and poetry, we’ll work together to find just the right thing. If you prefer me to write and deliver the entire ceremony, I’m happy to do so.
Meeting new people and hearing their stories is fascinating, and capturing the essence of a person’s character is a privilege. Saying farewell to a friend or relative is usually a difficult experience, and the chance to share memories through the ritual of a ceremony is often an important stage in coping with grief. Humanist funerals are centred on the life of the person being remembered, and the needs of those saying goodbye.
I’m familiar with most of the local crematoria in the area, and lucky to be based close to the idyllic GreenAcres Heatherley Wood woodland burial park, to Clandon Wood Natural Burial Ground with its stunning glass pavilion, and the Shamley Green Woodland Burial site. Ceremonies in the great outdoors go ahead, no matter what the weather brings. To consider an environmentally-friendly alternative to cremation, you may like to take a stroll around these peaceful places – the teams there are always very welcoming.
A bit about me
Brought up in Elstead, Surrey, I attended the local C of E schools. The communal music and language of daily assemblies and annual festivals form some of my happiest childhood memories. Even at a young age, though, I noticed when content didn’t feel relevant to me and fellow pupils who were non-religious or of different faiths. I took my A-levels at Charterhouse, and then studied English Literature at Exeter University. My career in marketing was pleasantly interrupted by my four children, and my other freelance work now is mainly with both professional and amateur musicians. You can read more about why I decided to become a celebrant here.
“I have just received your hard copy of the text for the two ceremonies in Stuart’s memory. Thank you very much. I have just re-read them and am reminded as to just how perfect it all was, thanks in large part to you. I have had numerous people write or tell me in person how much they enjoyed the ceremony to celebrate Stuart’s life… I really appreciate all that you did to make the day a success.” Noel Botha – Farewell and Celebration of Life Ceremonies for his husband Stuart Wilson at Woking Crematorium and The Lightbox, September 2018
“Many people commented on how lovely the ceremony was and we are very grateful to you for guiding us through such an emotional hour.” YL – Memorial Service for her father, July 2018
“I knew from the outset that you were the perfect person – Dad would have loved you, and you him. You have a real gift for getting across the warmth and energy of the script without taking it over.” Jessie Rogers – Celebration of Life ceremony for her father Rex Lane, January 2018
“Hannah was so engaged and genuine, it was almost as if she was a family friend. Everyone said the ceremonies they attended were perfect” M Howes – Cremation and Memorial ceremonies for Sylvia Codling, November 2017
“Please thank Hannah for adding just the right note” Charles and Carol Howe – Celebration of Life ceremony for Pat Hewett, July 2017