If you’ve found this website, it’s likely that you are looking for a non-religious ceremony. This may be because you identify as a humanist, or simply that you feel that you want your ceremony to be about you and your life, without referring to any religious belief.
At Humanists UK, the word humanist is explained as having come to mean someone who:
- trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic).
- makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals.
- believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.
A humanist ceremony is a chance to celebrate what it is to be human – the values we share, the support we give each other, our ability to connect and to be an important part of each others’ lives, our curiosity to learn, our capacity to reason and to be creative!
The value of a ceremony conducted by a humanist celebrant is that it truly places the person or couple involved at its very heart. Family and friends have commented on how ‘beautiful and touching‘ they felt a ceremony was, including guests who may have been nervous about what a non-religious ceremony would look like.
As well as working as a celebrant, I am also an accredited schools speaker volunteer for Humanists UK. I love being able to use my skills and knowledge from my previous career as a teacher when visiting schools to talk about Humanism.
I am able to deliver assemblies, lead classroom activities, workshops, discussions or staff CPD, take part on multi-faith panels or contribute to themed days. It’s great to be able to talk about my work as a celebrant too: students love to see and hear parts of humanist ceremonies, experiencing how meaningful the words feel. (There are ‘oohs’ at the personal wedding vows and genuinely empathic facial expressions at the funeral ceremony passages on grief and leaving behind memories). Now that it is compulsory on many RE GCSE programmes of study to give examples of non-religious world approaches and viewpoints, I am also increasingly invited in to offer my opinions as a humanist on a variety of ethical issues.
I spent the majority of my 17 years of teaching in secondary special education (Art and RE), specialising in working with students with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) and those with social or behavioural difficulties. Through this wealth of experience, I tend to make sure I use visuals, artefacts, interaction and clear language when I am working with pupils of all abilities and backgrounds.
As a volunteer, I’m happy to visit any school or college in Liverpool and throughout Merseyside.
- If you are a teacher, feel free to contact me if you would like me to work with you.
- If you are a Merseyside parent, please pass on my details to the Head of RE at your child’s school to see if they are interested in me visiting.
- If you are interested in requesting a school visit outside of Merseyside and anywhere in the UK, you can use the online form here. There is also a mine of information and educational resources at Understanding Humanism and you can request here a free copy of the book called ‘What is Humanism‘ (pictured above).