I am delighted to offer ceremonies such as weddings and funerals to celebrate the important events of your life.
Ceremony serves to mark transitions and special celebrations, and gives meaning when circumstances or events mean that change is under way. Ceremony can be created for you as an individual, for you as a family, or for the community made up of your family and friends.
Each of my ceremonies is individually crafted in consultation with you to ensure an experience that is authentic and true to you. Most of my ceremonies are humanist in style, and often are completely without spiritual or religious content. But you are also free to include something that is spiritual, like readings, prayers or songs which might be specific to a religious tradition that is meaningful to you as a couple or to your family.
Most people spend a lot of time and money preparing for what will probably be the most significant event in their life – getting married. Yet few realise that it is also possible to find an independent celebrant to create and conduct the ceremony according to their own wishes – enabling you to have a ceremony that reflects your own personal feelings and attitudes towards the commitment you are about to make.
I am able to conduct your celebration in the location of your choice, and can create appropriate wordings and incorporate the significant elements you choose for a themed wedding.
In respect of the vows, blessings, prayers, readings and music, and most importantly, in the ritual drama of the occasion itself, all of which can be spiritual, or non-spiritual, traditional or individual, you can have something that reflects your own personal beliefs, and something that is meaningful and important to you.
Some Questions I Am Frequently Asked
What Can You Expect From Me As Your Celebrant?
I will create a ceremony specifically tailored to your requirements, incorporating your values and beliefs; using language that feels comfortable and authentic to you. Any elements of ritual will also be held in a style that is appropriate to you.
Preliminary queries will of course be answered without obligation and there will be no obligation to commit to booking me as your celebrant until after we have held a preliminary conversation. This means that we all have an opportunity to ensure there is a good rapport between us which will enable us to work creatively together. This preliminary meeting is usually held by Zoom or FaceTime but if more convenient we can hold it in person, or by telephone.
For weddings, when you have decided to choose me as your celebrant, I will send you an invoice for a deposit payment which books your date in my diary. I would also ask you to fill in a short questionnaire, to include your contact details and whatever details you already have about your wedding, such as venue, time, etc. Around 3 to 4 months before your ceremony I will get in touch with you to arrange a meeting, preferably face to face, but sometimes this is not possible, for all three of us to meet and talk through your thoughts and ideas for the ceremony.
For funerals, a meeting will take place at the earliest possible opportunity, and I am happy to meet with everyone who would like some input into the service.
Following this meeting, I would create a ‘script’ for your ceremony and send it to you for your approval. If further meetings are required that can be arranged, but usually I manage to create the right tone and there are few changes to be made, but it is important that the feel and tone is right for you, so I am happy to make the time for this to happen by Zoom or phone or email. I can assist with the music if it is a playlist, or otherwise liaise with your musicians on the day, and of course photographers and videographers who are recording the ceremony. If it is a wedding, I can be present for a rehearsal if required.
On the day itself I usually arrive about one hour before the ceremony to check that everything is in order, and to connect with you briefly beforehand.
Finally, I will be there to conduct your ceremony!
What training did you have to work as a celebrant?
My principle career was as a secondary school teacher, and this gave me valuable experience and confidence in holding and speaking before large groups of people. My specific training, completed in 2012, was as an interfaith minister, and the second year of that training focused on the meaning and significance of life ceremonies, which are, in general, universal, and recognized and celebrated and held in different contexts and faith communities around the world. The OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is not a faith or belief-based organisation. It focusses on the everyday ethical practices and universal life teachings of all the main world religions and philosophies. Upon ordination we agree to a Code of Ethics which is strongly inclusive. If we hold a core belief it would be that ‘all are equal’ or ‘we are one’.
Can you perform a legal marriage ceremony in Scotland?
Yes. As an Interfaith Minister, I am categorised by the Registrar General as a non-conformist minister who can legally conduct a wedding and sign your Marriage Schedule in Scotland.
Can you perform a legal marriage ceremony in England?
No. In registered premises, there would need to be a registrar present. Otherwise your legal marriage would have to be held on a different occasion. The ceremony I held for you would be more accurately described as a marriage blessing ceremony, or a commitment ceremony. However, government consultations are currently being held concerning this, and it is hoped that in the future the law might be changed to include further categories of celebrant who are licensed to conduct legal weddings in England.
Where Are You Based?
I am based in Carlisle and am thus very well placed for weddings in Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbria. Most of my wedding engagements are in the North Lakes and in Dumfriesshire, and funeral engagements in the Carlisle area, but I have occasionally travelled further afield.
What Are Your Charges?
Telephone: 07980 825168