I am an accredited funeral celebrant living in Bolton but originally from Sunderland. If you are reading this then it is likely that you are involved in planning a funeral and I hope to offer support and guidance at this very difficult time.
Humanist funerals are unique, personal and real. Choosing the right person to lead the service is important. My journey to becoming a celebrant stretches back over thirty years and having taken early retirement from a career in social work, counselling and lecturing, I bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to this privileged role. Working as a social worker and bereavement service coordinator in a local hospice and for Macmillan Cancer Care I have an understanding of the richness and complexity of relationships and the impact that illness and grief can have. I offer compassion and professionalism in equal measure.
From a personal perspective, my family has had humanist officiants and celebrants conducting our funerals and namings for the whole of my adult life. I have been a grieving daughter, mother and sister and I have worked alongside celebrants to organise funerals for relatives and friends who have died after long periods of illness and those who have died suddenly in traumatic circumstances. My experience of humanist funerals has always been a positive one, in which a true sense of the person has been central and celebrated.
As a humanist funeral celebrant, I will write and lead a non-religious ceremony in whichever way you choose. However, humanism is inclusive, recognises the vast diversity of religious and cultural beliefs and can include religious content if it is true to the life of the person who has died. A humanist funeral brings people together to mourn the loss of someone dear and celebrates their life. If you decide that you would like to book me as your celebrant then I will work closely with you to ensure that the unique story of the person who has died is told in a genuine, warm and meaningful way for yourself and others.
The responsibility for planning a funeral can be daunting, especially when there is limited time available, but help is at hand. If you want to read more about planning a funeral or access additional information, then click on the tabs above and if would like to speak to me in person then please email, with no obligation, on
My fee is £195 and includes meeting with you (depending on current restrictions), writing and revising the script as many times as you wish and leading the ceremony. I mainly work in Bolton and Wigan but am open to travelling further afield. Fees are usually paid through the funeral director, along with other funeral charges and are likely to come under disbursements.
If you have already contacted a Funeral Service, then please let them know if you would like me to be the celebrant – this is normal practice and the choice is yours. In fact, you may have more choice than you think!
Mandy Hagan is a member of the Good Funeral Guild, a collective of like-minded people working to change funerals for the better’ https://goodfuneralguild.co.uk/
(“Progress” Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar, quasar.digital)