My introduction to celebrancy came in 2017 when I conducted a memorial service for my father. He had donated his body to medical science and this left us with the tricky prospect of having to wait three years before we could have a “funeral”. So we honoured the life of this seafarer on board a ship and with appropriate music and readings shortly after his death. This uplifting experience convinced me to retrain and launch a new career (at the age of 59) as a celebrant.
My aim is always to work closely with family, friends and funeral directors to make the ceremony a beautiful and fitting tribute. Where possible and appropriate, I try to encourage and enable family and friends to participate in a ceremony.
I’m a skilled listener and work with sensitivity, compassion and calm professionalism. The power of the spoken word is very important to me and I work hard to capture the essence of a person’s life and deliver that effectively. I can help a family to choose appropriate readings and I will sometimes write pieces of poetry myself.
I am very open to working with people who are planning ahead for their own funerals. Also to working on natural, green and home ceremonies and vigils, and I have done a lot of work to develop online ceremonies to bring together widely scattered families and friends.
As a member of the LGBT community, I am especially aware of the sensitivities that may arise with the funerals of gay and trans people.
I only conduct a small number of funeral in a week to ensure that I give each one my fullest attention and commitment. Above all, I work with respect and dignity.