For a service which truly reflects the life, love, hopes and memories you have shared together
Whether you are a person of faith, spirituality, or not religious at all, a funeral service is always a precious time to remember, celebrate, and give thanks for the life of someone you have loved. I will work closely with you to learn about their life, character, and experiences, shaping their service into a very personal tribute. Reflecting your own beliefs, thoughts, words and memories to pay a fitting and special tribute to their life.
As you are considering the funeral service and what it may contain you may be asking yourself 'What kind of funeral service would they want?' In the section below I have gathered together a few thoughts on the differing styles of service available. I hope that these may be of help to you in making your choices. None of these are fixed, rigid, styles and you may well feel that, for your loved one, it would be good to combine a number of these elements to properly reflect their life.
If you would like to know more, or to discuss your thoughts further, please feel free to contact me at any time via the details on my contact page and I'll be pleased to offer my help. You will find all of my contact details by clicking the contact tab at the top of this page.
For many of us at this time of loss it is important to remember the religion, faith, and promises which have held us throughout our lives and still hold out the hope of our life to come. With long experience in ministry within the Christian Church I am able to bring these key aspects of faith into a service for your loved one and combine these with the very personal memories, thoughts and words you would like to share on that day. I can help you to shape the service within a traditional framework of readings, hymns, songs and music to provide a fitting moment of thanksgiving, celebration and hope.
Reflecting the growing number of people who recognise a very real and deep-seated spirituality in their lives yet do not feel attached to the traditional faiths, religions or churches. I value the diversity and importance of everyone's approach to life, spirituality, death and beyond. By spending time with you and your family I will work to understand your personal approach to these important aspects of belief and will reflect them within the service along with your personal memories, contributions, readings, music and other elements of your choice. By working in this way the funeral service becomes a unique and memorable moment to give thanks for the life of the one you have loved.
The days when most people attended or were linked to a local church or place of worship have largely passed. For this reason many people want their funeral service to focus, not upon religious or spiritual beliefs, but more upon the personal life, love and experiences which they have shared with those around them. A humanist service does just this - creating a very personal service which remembers the best moments and memories you have shared together and recognises the common human experiences, hopes and achievements which we all feel are important to our lives. As with other services I will work with you to include the memories, music, readings and thoughts which were part of your loved one's life.
As a celebration of life a funeral service should be exactly the kind of thanksgiving, celebration and farewell that your loved one would have wanted. I am happy to work with you, your family and friends, to create a service which is wholly focussed on the uniqueness of the individual. This is particularly suitable for those who have held to no particular faith, religion, or spiritual belief. But may be part of your planning for anyone who's character, uniqueness and individuality needs to be marked and central to their final moments amongst us. As with all funeral services there is a timeframe to which every minister must adhere. For this reason families may decide to hold a Memorial Service at a point following the main funeral, in which the restrictions of time are lessened and the freedom to include other, more personal, elements can be included (see the 'Memorial Services' tab at the top of this page for more information).
I realise just how important it is to value, celebrate and reflect the love shared between two people no matter what background, sexuality or beliefs we may hold. I recognise that, over the years, religion has caused a tremendous amount of pain and rejection when it has failed to do so. For this reason I exercise an open, inclusive and warm approach to people of all backgrounds. I will spend time with you and your family to understand the life you have shared together and the things which you wish to say thank you for on this most important of days. You can be assured of a service which truly reflects the love, life and times you have shared together.
If you choose a cremation service for your loved one you will also need to think about how you would like their ashes to be handled once the service is complete. Your funeral director will be happy to explain the options available to you which may include the scattering of ashes in a garden of remembrance or the interment of ashes into a plot which is a permanent place of keeping and remembrance for your family. Many choose to mark this moment of interment, or scattering, with a quiet, personal, time of thanksgiving and remembrance. I am happy to support you at this time with words, prayers, readings and thoughts of thanksgiving which may also be linked with the original words spoken at their funeral service. Please feel free to contact me in order to discuss your needs further.
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