I live in Winchester and I am available to conduct funeral ceremonies in Winchester and throughout Hampshire, although I can travel further if required. My aim is to help you create a unique and personal ceremony to celebrate the life that has ended by working in collaboration with those closest to the person who has died.
When I heard about the role of funeral celebrant it seemed that this would be a rewarding and interesting way of using my existing skills and developing new ones. I was particularly impressed by the level of support and development offered by Humanists UK, which ensures that high professional standards are met and maintained.
I work closely with another local celebrant, Janet Powell, and I am also part of a network that meets regularly to offer professional support. Together we will try to ensure that there is always a celebrant available to conduct your ceremony.
I was born in Manchester but left to go to university in Cardiff and then to do my post-graduate training in Southampton. I have lived in Hampshire since that time. After leaving university I trained as a social worker and worked mainly in the family courts until I retired. Since then I have been a volunteer supporting families and witnesses at both the Crown and Coroner’s courts. I have been involved in setting up a restorative justice project and I am also a trained family mediator. More recently I have been involved, together with another local celebrant, in organising a number of Death Cafes in Winchester, which allow people to discuss issues around death and dying in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. I enjoy literature, theatre and travel. I have 3 grown-up daughters.
You do not have to define yourself as a humanist to have a humanist funeral. If religion has not played a significant part in a person’s life, you may feel that a non-religious ceremony, which emphasizes the life that has been lived, may be the most appropriate way of remembering and celebrating them.
Each person is unique and I’ll use my skills and training to create a ceremony which celebrates and honours the life of that person.
Humanist ceremonies usually take place at a crematorium, a cemetery or a woodland burial ground; however other venues are sometimes preferred and I’m happy to work flexibly around your chosen arrangements. Increasingly some people are choosing to separate the cremation/burial from a larger event or memorial, which can allow more time or a more fitting venue.
Please contact me either by phone or email if you think that I might be able to help you and your family create a truly meaningful funeral ceremony. More information about the process can be found on the next page.
I want to stress the importance of continuing to support families during this difficult time and to help them say goodbye to the person who has died in a meaningful way. Advice is still changing but face-to-face meetings with families in their homes are still problematic but discussions about any ceremony can be held remotely. Numbers of mourners are still restricted although they are gradually increasing. It may be possible for ceremonies to be streamed to people in their own homes, so do speak to your funeral director about this option which many crematoria do offer. We are also able to include in the service memories and stories from those not able to attend.
If a funeral is not possible then a memorial service could be held at a later date . This could be hosted by a celebrant or organised entirely by yourselves. Once restrictions are removed you may be able to collect ashes and arrange for these to be scattered – with or without a ceremony – in a relevant location.
If you would like to discuss any of these options further then please contact me – I would like to help.
‘I just wanted to say thank you for the sensitive way you led X’s funeral. It made a huge difference at what has been a difficult time for us all’ (June 2020).