About Susannah Read

Photograph of Susannah Read

Susannah Read, Humanist Funeral Celebrant

I am firmly of the view that it is important for you to feel comfortable with your choice of celebrant, because the script and how it is delivered will form the central part of your ceremony. So let me introduce myself. I am a Humanist celebrant, living on the edge of the Mendips in Somerset, and working across the South West Region. I am accredited by Humanists UK to conduct funeral ceremonies and memorial services.

Back in 2017, I trained as a non-religious pastoral support worker, accredited by Humanists UK. I had been drawn to the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network after the death of my mother – an experience which taught me a lot about my capacity to listen and care for a person at the end of their life. It was during the training that my interest in becoming a funeral celebrant was first awakened, as I met several fellow trainees who were already practising celebrants. I quickly learned from them what a privilege it is to craft a ceremony that is tailor-made around a central character, truly reflecting their personality, life and experiences and realised this was something I wanted to do.

Since qualifying as a non-religious pastoral support worker, I have been volunteering as a member of the Spiritual Care Team at Weston Hospicecare, supporting people both on the In-patient Unit, Day Hospice and out in the community. I feel very strongly that everyone deserves to access the same emotional and spiritual support, regardless of whether they are religious or not. I very much enjoy the work I do there, often simply being alongside people who are adapting to a new diagnosis, accepting their life is coming to an end, or living with a life-limiting illness. I have been able to enhance my listening skills and learn more about how to support people to have tender conversations without avoiding what needs to be said.

Outside of work, I enjoy music and singing, exploring the natural environment and continuing to learn about the interconnectedness of the world we live in. As a Humanist, I believe it is life enhancing to pour my energy into the one life that I have, not by focusing on the material, but through my relationships with others, my joys in nature and my awe of science.

I am inspired by people’s stories, genuinely interested in their lives and filled with wonder at their achievements. My love of reading and storytelling, coupled with my humanist convictions, mean that I have just the right skills to put together a meaningful, resonant ceremony for you or your loved one.