Richard Hackett is an accredited celebrant, living near to Fareham in Hampshire, dedicated to producing and conducting uniquely personal non-religious ceremonies.
I became a celebrant after experiencing some very moving and impressive Humanist funerals as part of the congregation. I was struck by the very personal nature of them and celebration of the lives of their subjects. They shared human values, brought people together and provided comfort at a difficult time without resorting to religion.
Becoming a celebrant is my third change of career, which started in broadcasting and moved into higher education. I have drawn on my experience in those fields and as a performer for almost 50 years to provide an empathetic, personal service. Having started with funerals I very quickly moved on to train for conducting weddings and naming ceremonies too. I find working on all three types of ceremony extremely rewarding.
Everyone has a story and I regard it as a privilege to help to tell that story with respect and dignity, in accordance with their wishes, their beliefs and with the support of their families and friends. Very many people do not believe in a god but they show humanity, respect and love for their fellow human beings. This is the essence of Humanism and is at the heart of a Humanist ceremony.
“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”
You do not need to be a Humanist to have a Humanist ceremony.
Humanist ceremonies are created with the people for whom they are intended at the centre of the event, they are about the person. Each ceremony that I create is unique and is done in collaboration with the family or friends who have asked me to conduct their event.
As a member of the British Humanist Association I belong to a local network of other celebrants who support one another and ensure that there is always one of us available to conduct a ceremony.
“So refreshing to have a humanist ceremony, as opposed to a church service, speaking honestly and openly about the person without any religious connotation. Very professional but with a very personal touch.”