Unique tribute ceremony for an iconic community building

Cheers for Hornsey Town Hall, an iconic community building in the heart of Crouch End that is closing its doors for redevelopment. Screenshot from video by Sugarsweet Productions The vast majority of the ceremonies I lead are for people: babies who are given a warm welcome into the world; couples who commit their love to[…]

The Goodbye-box: a playful way to help children grieve

  Children grieve too but they do this differently than adults. Unlike adults, children have a limited ability to express their feelings, thoughts and memories verbally. Alternatively, play can be an effective and safe way for them to give messages on how they feel. Bonnie Jansen, who teaches at a primary school in the Netherlands and[…]

How to include young children in funerals

“I am not sure if I should take my children to the funeral. What do you think?” It’s a question parents often ask me as a funeral celebrant. If prepared well, attending a funeral can be a healthy, healing and positive experience for children. The following feedback from a parent explains how attending a funeral has helped[…]

Spotlight interview with award-winning blog Engaged and Ready

  A precious moment at S&R’s wedding. Photo by Paul Wilkinson Photography It has been a great honour (and lots of fun!) to be interviewed by award-winning wedding blog ‘Engaged and Ready.’ If you don’t know this blog yet, check it out. It’s filled with advice and inspiration for wedding ceremony guiding and planning, life-living,[…]

Why we need to rethink funeral spaces

Funeral at Willow Row Barrow, Cambridgeshire   On a chilly but bright autumn morning, the family and friends of David Sinclair gathered to both celebrate his life and acknowledge his death at the place he had chosen as his final resting place, Willow Row Barrow, in the Cambridgeshire countryside. It was the first time that a[…]

How to grieve an invisible loss: 5 rituals for miscarriage

              More than one in five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. That’s about a quarter of a million in the UK each year. Everyone who has had or is going to a pregnancy loss or miscarriage will experience this in their own way. Not everyone will feel the same.[…]

The future of funerals: what the UK funeral industry can learn from the Dutch

A few weeks ago, I went on a funeral field trip to The Netherlands. I was curious to learn more about the funeral practices in my home country. The Dutch are well known for the relaxed, personal and innovative way of dealing with their dead. What can de UK funeral world learn from their neighbours?[…]

How Rituals Will Save the World

The world is in despair. But there’s a cure: rituals. Find out how four ritual super powers will save the world. Community Ritual North London, June 2016   2016 has been a turbulent year and many people are concerned about what will happen in 2017. The world is shivering. Brexit and Trump have been no[…]

Start 2017 Positively With This Year-End Ritual

We are approaching the end of 2016. It has been a turbulent year. How do you look back on 2016? What are the things you would like to leave behind? What would you like to take with you in the year to come? These questions came to my mind when I was browsing through the pictures[…]

Good Funeral Awards 2016. Death, Oscars and Two Important Questions.

Thursday, 8th September I will be attending the biggest party in the funeral world. At a glamorous lunch in London, a diverse bunch of people will be celebrating outstanding and innovative initiatives in the world of death and dying. One of the most exciting parts of the event is the announcement of the winners of the Good Funeral Awards[…]

The tree of life: a baby naming ceremony inspired by nature

Baby naming ceremonies are always wonderful to do. They are usually informal occasions full of happiness and love. Very often, other children attend the ceremony, sharing their bubbling energy and sometimes causing a bit of chaos when they decide to do their own thing. These children keep reminding me of the fact that good preparation[…]

Departures: how to let go with beauty and dignity

Recently, I watched the film ‘Departures’, a 2008 Japanese drama by director Jōhirō Takita. The film is about a young man (Daigo Kobayashi) who, after a failed career as a cellist, stumbles across work as a nōkanshi, a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. Daigo’s work is to prepare bodies for cremation in a ceremony called encoffinment.[…]

Seven Blessings: a modern interpretation of a beautiful Jewish ritual

One of the most precious things of being a celebrant is learning a lot about the richness of rituals and ceremonies from all over the world. As an independent celebrant, I deliver ceremonies for people from all kinds of backgrounds: secular, religious and interfaith. My starting point is always with the people I meet and[…]