When we had our planning meeting, you gave your time unstintingly, and we were amazed how your calm questioning changed our factual written account of Cathy's life into a warm, vibrant, memory-filled picture of her life.
“ For those of us who believe that death marks the end of a person's life the meaning of life, lies in what we do and achieve in our lifetime. We believe that there are many ways in which we survive: through the genes passed to our children, through the influence we have on others and in the memories of those who knew us. ”
The British Humanist Association
Supporter of The Natural Death Centre

Humanist funeral

A Celebration of life…

A Humanist Funeral Ceremony provides the opportunity to mark a person’s life in a personal and meaningful way, giving family and friends the chance to express what the person has meant to them, to remember special times they have shared and to say their final goodbyes. Each humanist funeral is personally written to reflect the individuality of the person who has died and to celebrate the life they have lived.

There is no set format that has to be followed and a ceremony can be personalised with tributes, readings and music, with family and friends being welcome to contribute as much or as little as they wish. The only guideline is that they do not contain any religious content such as hymns or prayers.

A personal ceremony…

I will spend time finding out as much as possible about the person you have lost to help you plan a personal ceremony. This usually involves making a home visit but, if you prefer, I can arrange to meet you at an alternative venue, and I can also talk to relatives and friends on the phone or correspond by email. For most people, the tribute or eulogy is the central part of the ceremony, which can be written and delivered by myself or by family and friends, or a combination of both. The whole experience of a funeral ceremony can often be transformed by how this is done and the way a person’s story is told.

I put a great deal of thought and care into what I write to not only reflect the person’s personality and the things that were important to them, but just as significantly include special memories of the people who were part of their life. The feedback I have had is that this is what people have found very meaningful.

A ceremony with a difference …

Although most of the funeral ceremonies I conduct are at the local crematorium, there are no legal restrictions and you can hold a ceremony anywhere you like provided you have the necessary permission, such as a village hall or community building or your own home or garden. The committal can then take place at a crematorium, burial ground or on private land, subject to certain restrictions.

There is something very special about funerals held in the outdoors as being outside emphasises that death is a natural part of life. With the growing number of natural burial grounds, outdoor funerals are becoming more common. There are natural burial grounds in Carlisle, South Lakeland, Skipton, Morecambe and Preston.

More time at the crematorium…

A twenty minute service at the crematorium can seem insufficient time to do justice to a person’s whole life. However, it is possible to book more time at the crematoria in Carlisle, Barrow and Lancaster. This enables you to have a longer ceremony, to decorate the room if you wish and give you more time to gather and settle before the ceremony begins.

A personal goodbye…

To get the true flavour of what a humanist funeral ceremony has to offer, please take a look at the Humanist Ceremonies video.

My fees…

The basic fee that that I charge for a simple funeral ceremony at a burial ground or crematorium is £180 with any mileage charged on top at a rate of 45p per mile. I will provide you with an accurate quote once I have further details of your ceremony and ask you to pay a deposit of £50.

What people have said…

“Dear Debra, I would just like to say a big thank you for the poignant way in which you conducted Mike’s service yesterday. It had such warmth that ran right through. I know he would have been pleased and proud of the way it went.”

“It was so well described and so accurate of Betty I almost thought it was a script of a video or film of her life. I was imagining and remembering it all in pictures as the ceremony progressed.”

“Sheena specifically wanted you to conduct her ceremony and I am quite sure she would have been delighted. After our long chat, with the boys, I felt that you had a clear view of Sheena’s personality. You certainly reflected it in your words. The ceremony was just as Sheena would have wanted.. ”

I would like to help you create a personal ceremony of your choice