A funeral ceremony is an important event because it marks the ending of a unique life. It is an opportunity to tell the story of someone’s life, to pay tribute to them, to appreciate the impact their life has made on our world and to say a loving goodbye.

I chose to work as a funeral celebrant in order to help realise that opportunity for families across the City of York, East and North Yorkshire. I work with compassion and sensitivity to create a funeral ceremony that reflects the life, spirit and values of the unique person you have lost and that gives you the opportunity to say farewell in a way that is meaningful and appropriate.

For many people a religious service no longer feels right, as the person who has died was not affiliated to any religion throughout their life. Perhaps the person who has died had strong feelings that there should be absolutely no religious content in the funeral ceremony or perhaps they had their own beliefs about life and death that need to be reflected; it may be that some family members would still like to be able to sing a hymn or say a prayer – I take all of this into account when creating a funeral ceremony to ensure that it accords with the beliefs and wishes of the person who has died and also brings comfort to family and friends as they say goodbye. I am not affiliated with the British Humanist Society, but I am able to create funerals that celebrate human values and secular beliefs. I trained as a celebrant with Simon Smith and Jane Morrell of greenfuse and am a member of the Greenfuse Guild.

Funerals are changing in the 21st Century and some people want to explore options outside the traditional – a funeral held in a yurt or marquee at a natural burial ground with the release of butterflies, doves or balloons at the end; the use of a more ‘neutral’ space, such as a pub function room; even the living room at home can hold a funeral ceremony! Or perhaps a simple, respectful, no frills ceremony at the crematorium – it really is up to you.

How I work

I have good links with many local funeral directors and work together with them to support families through the process of arranging a funeral to ensure everything runs smoothly. Some people prefer to organise the funeral themselves and I am happy to support and assist in that case. If you have any questions at all about funeral ceremonies I am happy to meet with you to discuss them.

When first beginning to prepare a ceremony, ideally I meet face to face with key family members and/ or friends if appropriate, to try to find out as much as possible about the life of the person who has died. These meetings can bring both laughter and tears and allow the life story, values, beliefs and wishes of this precious person to be told. We will also discuss the structure of the ceremony, possible readings, music and whether any family members or friends would like to speak or contribute their own words to the content. There are many simple ways to personalise a ceremony and allow those attending to participate and I can discuss these with you if appropriate.

Over the next few days I will write a draft of the ceremony, based on these conversations and send it through to the person responsible for making the arrangements. There is then time for it to be revised or amended if necessary – this allows you to be confident that the words used on the day are just right and are true to the life and spirit of the person being remembered. I am always available before the ceremony to discuss any concerns you may have and answer any questions and then on the day of the funeral I will be there to deliver the ceremony with professionalism and with heart.

Other Services

If you wish to hold a memorial service or ceremony to scatter the ashes of your loved one I am happy to work with you to create and deliver these.

Perhaps your loved one has chosen to donate their body to medical science, so there is need at the time of death to hold a cremation or burial, but nevertheless family and friends want to come together to hold some kind of ceremony to mark the death – I am happy to work with you to create something appropriate.

In the tragic circumstances of the death of a child or stillbirth, extra care and sensitivity is needed to ensure the ceremony is just right. I can be a supportive, caring presence to help families at this most difficult of times.

Please feel free to get in touch – 07743 876609


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