About Philippa Howell


I have long believed that people should be free to celebrate the important occasions in their lives without religion. I meet many people who want to mark the significant points of their life and express themselves in their own personal way. I help people to celebrate in ways which are meaningful to them. 

I started conducting humanist wedding,  partnership and naming ceremonies in 2006.  I am now also accredited to carry out humanist funerals.

I am based in Cheltenham -“the centre for the Cotswolds”- where there is a huge choice of unique ceremony venues. I also regularly work from a base in Bristol. My main area is in and around Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Bristol but I ham happy to travel wider afield.

 I encourage people to include their families and friends to contribute their skills, such as reading poetry and making music, to make their ceremony particularly personal and memorable. I thoroughly enjoy making each occasion as unique as the people involved. I help people to choose the words that express their own feelings and character. A humanist ceremony offers the freedom to make their ceremony as formal or informal, as serious or humorous as they choose. 

  • Each ceremony is tailored to reflect the wishes and character of the individuals.
  • Wedding and naming ceremonies combine seriousness with joy.
  • Funeral and memorial ceremonies are a respectful way to say farewell, with personal tributes and the sharing of memories to celebrate the life that was.
  • Each ceremony is unique, meaningful and memorable.


I inherited an interest in humanism from my father, Philip Howell, who founded the Norwich Humanist Group in 1976. Philip began to provide the first humanist ceremonies  there and continued as a celebrant of all humanist ceremonies in and around Gloucestershire. I decided to train as a celebrant after seeing how much satisfaction my father gained from being a celebrant and how a good ceremony is a fulfilling and memorable occasion for all those involved.

  •   Please don’t hesitate to telephone or email me to discuss the possibilities for creating a ceremony to suit you.