“When you visited us you put us at our ease straight away and gave us the time to talk and think of Mum. It gave us so much comfort. The ceremony was planned just right. It was perfect.”
For me, conducting a funeral is about far more than the ceremony. People who have been bereaved need time, compassion and understanding to help find a way through those early days after the death of a loved one and I take as long as is needed to ensure that each funeral ceremony I lead is very special. My belief is that we each have one life and that everyone’s life is meaningful and unique: a personalised humanist funeral ceremony highlights this.
The role of a funeral celebrant is very privileged. To be able to spend time with those closest to the deceased person and work with you to create the right ceremony can give long lasting positive memories to help ease the way through this painful time. I take an individual professional and person centred approach, sharing compassion, warmth and empathy.
A typical ceremony usually includes a welcome, thoughts about life and death from a non-religious perspective, tributes to the deceased person, period of quiet reflection, and the formal committal or farewell. We will discuss choices of music, poems and readings and I can offer suggestions if needed. The shape, content and level of formality for the funeral are all completely flexible, and dignity and respect are always assured. Most importantly, the deceased person remains at the heart of the event, with their life reflected upon and celebrated.
I will share with you the draft script for the ceremony so that we can ensure the wording and tone is just right, and after the ceremony you will receive a presentation copy as a keepsake or maybe to share with family and friends who were unable to come.
I originally trained and practiced as a social worker, mainly working with older people and people with learning disabilities and their families. I have worked for a local charity which provides support to family carers who look after a relative or friend who is disabled, frail or ill and spent some years offering legal information and advice to older people and their families. The latter part of my career has been spent in senior management of a local older people’s charity. My role as a funeral celebrant brings together all the skills, knowledge and experience acquired through this working lifetime and it is my most rewarding role yet.
“I just wanted to thank you properly for Katie’s beautiful service. You really did capture her personality and values perfectly and everyone commented on what a fitting service it was. It was obvious how much thought and preparation you put into the service and we cannot thank you enough for that. Although it’s tough at the moment I know mum will find great comfort in reading through the script in the future.”
“Thank you so much for conducting the ceremony in such a personal and warm way. We had many lovely comments about the service. Thanks for all your help and compassion”
“We hugely appreciated your sensitive, kind approach and the fact that you listened so attentively to what we told you about what sort of person Dad was. Lots of people came up to us afterwards and commented that they had not been to this type of funeral before and were unsure what to expect – but they had very much enjoyed the ceremony and thought it was a ‘class act’ (their words, not mine).”
Please do get in contact if you would like to discuss preparations for a ceremony or have any questions. I live in between Rugby and Coventry and am happy to conduct ceremonies anywhere in Coventry, Warwickshire and surrounding areas.