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. Liz & family


More information about humanist ceremonies from Humanists UK
Supporter of The Natural Death Centre

Humanist funeral

A Humanist Funeral Ceremony provides the opportunity to mark a person’s life in a personal and meaningful way. Each ceremony is written to reflect the individuality of the person who has died and to celebrate the life they have lived. This gives family and friends the chance to express what the person has meant to them and to say their final goodbyes.

A Celebration of life…

There is no set format that has to be followed. A Humanist Funeral Ceremony can be personalised with tributes, readings and music. Family and friends are 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. For some inspiration please take a look at an extract from my collection of Funeral Poems and Readings

A personal ceremony…

I will spend time finding out as much as possible about the person who has died to help you plan a personal ceremony. This usually involves making a home visit or I can arrange to meet you at an alternative venue. I can also talk to relatives and friends on the phone or correspond by email.

The tribute or eulogy is the central part of the ceremony, which can be written and delivered by myself or by family and friends. 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 reflects each person’s personality. I also 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 humanist funeral with a difference …

Although most of the funeral ceremonies I conduct are at the local crematorium, there are no legal restrictions. You can hold a ceremony anywhere you like provided you have the necessary permission. This can include a hotel or village hall 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 life. However, it is possible to book more time which enables you to have a longer ceremony. This also provides the opportunity for you to decorate the room and gives you more time to gather and settle before the ceremony begins.

A humanist funeral provides a personal goodbye…

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

My fees…

The fee that that I charge for a funeral ceremony is between £180 and £300 with any mileage charged on top. I will provide you with an accurate quote once I have further details of your ceremony and ask you to pay a deposit of £100.

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.. ”

“Thank you for all your help and understanding around Mum’s funeral last week. You did us all proud and we are all very grateful for what you did in making the day what it was.  A very fitting tribute – just as she would have wanted..”

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