Julie Kay, Weddings, Namings and Funerals Celebrant

I’m based in York but also spend time in Sheffield. I work throughout Yorkshire,  The Humber, Derbyshire and further afield including travel abroad if required.
The beauty of Humanist Ceremonies is that they can be held anywhere; at any venue, in your own home or at a special, beautiful place outdoors. There are no set words or rules, which means I can help you create a ceremony which is very personal and meaningful for you and your family and friends.
For more information please use the tabs above,

Or get in touch  – julie.kay@humanistceremonies.org.uk  /   07889 573217


Last updated 26 August 2020  – I am currently well and following Government recommendations.

Weddings & Naming Ceremonies

From 4 July Government confirmed that humanist weddings & namings are permitted with up to 30 people in attendance at COVID secure venues adhering to Social distancing guidance. However, private homes and gardens are not considered COVID secure, and therefore cannot host more than 2 households/bubbles or 6 people from different households.

No one showing symptoms, or isolating because of being in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19 should attend.

Receptions involving a meal with guests after the ceremony are now permitted in Covid secure venues.


Attendance of funerals is still restricted but has eased a little. Numbers allowed to attend varies between crematoriums, cemeteries and other venues. From 6 July York crematorium allows up to 18 people to attend.

Funerals are permitted in private gardens of up to 30 people, adhering to Social distancing guidance.

No one showing symptoms, or isolating because of being in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19 should attend.

Arranging the Funeral Ceremony
Each humanist funeral ceremony is individually written, giving you the flexibility to create an occasion that best fits who your loved one really was and what they meant to those around them.

To avoid risk I’m unable to meet with you in person to make arrangements. However, I feel confident in making arrangements at a distance having done this many times over the years when families live far away.

  • I’ll contact you by phone to introduce myself and talk through practical arrangements
  • I’ll then send you information and questions by email to prompt you to think about what you would like to include in the ceremony – how to describe your loved one, what they meant to you and how they would want to be remembered.
  • We can then meet remotely, either by phone or video link such as Skype or Google Meet.
  • It may also be possible to meet in person in your garden, weather permitting.
  • I’ll then write a draft ceremony which includes any details you and others would like to say. I’ll send you this draft to review and edit and I’ll work on the ceremony until its right for you.

The Ceremony
At the funeral itself I will have to refrain from shaking hands or hugs and I will follow hygiene and social distancing. I will wear a mask to attend the ceremony, removing it to speak at the lectern. All attending the funeral will need to wear masks in doors (unless they are exempt)  I will email your presentation copy of the script to further minimise potential risk.

Ways to Involve Those Who Can’t Attend

  • Video links Many Crematoria offer video links for those who are unable to attend or you can live stream the ceremony yourself.
  • Sharing the Presentation Copy of the Ceremony You’re welcome to email the presentation copy of the ceremony to all who can’t attend.
  • Online Ceremony I could create and lead an online event for you, friends and family on the same day.
  • Alternative Ways to Say Farewell Collectively There are many meaningful ways to celebrate the life of a loved one collectively but in different locations. Such as creating a playlist of their favourite music to listen to at the same time, lighting a candle, all singing something at an agreed time, or raising a virtual glass, wherever you are. Do get in touch to talk through how you could create a meaningful social distanced ceremony.

Because numbers are restricted you may decide to hold a small family ceremony or even have a direct, unattended cremation and then plan a more detailed Memorial event for everyone once it’s safe and groups are able to gather again. We can begin making arrangements for this now by phone, email etc and make a firm booking once social distancing measures are lifted.

Network backup
If I have begun working with you and then become unwell and have to self isolate for the date of the ceremony, I will contact the Humanist Celebrant network to find a colleague who will be able to conduct the ceremony on my behalf.

If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me.


julie.kay@humanistceremonies.org.uk  /   07889 573217