Julia Clarke

CIVIL FUNERAL CELEBRANT

‘Celebrating the Life of Your Loved One Through a Meaningful End-of-Life Ceremony’

 

Saying goodbye to someone you love is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll face in life –  it’s a challenging and draining time, full of mixed emotions.

Creating an end-of-life ceremony may be an entirely new experience and you might not know where to start.

My role as an independent civil funeral celebrant is to support you at this difficult time. I’ll help you devise a dignified, personalised and beautiful ceremony, be it simple, elaborate or somewhere in between.

I strive to reflect, honour and celebrate the person who has died. I’ll get you involved as much as you wish,  in preparing a final farewell to the physical presence of your loved one. And I’ll always respect beliefs and requests – yours and theirs.

Wherever possible I’ll visit you personally, allowing as much time as we need. I offer a gentle and safe space for you to recall memoirs of your family member or friend. This helps me build an in-depth insight into their life and character, so I can write a bespoke ceremony that truly reflects their heart and soul.

This time can be cathartic and forms part of the healing process.

If meeting in person is not practical we can, of course, speak at length on the phone, and as many times as necessary as ideas evolve.

A Collaborative Creation of an Important Rite of Passage

What may feel like a blank and daunting canvas in the beginning will gradually take shape to culminate in a very special creation. This is the fruit of ideas you and others give me, and is born from any wishes your loved one expressed.

With my help, you’ll find yourself creating exactly what you require to acknowledge your loss, to say goodbye and to draw comfort from this final act of love. We can use music, words of remembrance, personal tributes, poetry, hymns or prayers. In fact, anything else from life that needs to be in this space.

There are no boundaries to saying goodbye and you are free to include whatever feels right. Above all, you will have the chance to approve every word that is spoken. 

A Personal Service

I work closely with only one family at a time, giving you my undivided attention, and the necessary space to create an unhurried, well constructed, transformational end-of-life ceremony.

We can make the difference together. We’ll help family and friends grieve with a meaningful and comforting ceremony, and by sharing memories in a loving and bespoke farewell, in which the essence of your loved one is captured with integrity.

When the ceremony is over, the peace you’ll find in a job well done, will help to make a real difference in the days, months and years ahead.

The Importance of Planning

It’s important to look for a celebrant as soon as you can. You’re welcome to phone me for an initial no-obligation chat and to discuss any questions you may have, including my costs and the number of hours I usually put into creating bespoke ceremonies.

This conversation can take place at any time including before a death, enabling you – and possibly the person whose memory the ceremony will honour – to draw comfort from knowing how we might work together.

A Safe and Respectful Experience

It’s important to know you’ll be in safe and caring hands. If you’re using a funeral director, remember: you can choose the celebrant you’d like to work with as you create this ‘once in a lifetime’ ceremony, someone who will support and represent you.

If you want to hold out for exactly the right celebrant you may need to work around their availability and to be flexible about the time of the funeral. That’s why it’s important to start looking for a celebrant as soon as you can, to make an informed choice.

 

‘A funeral is not a day in a lifetime, it is a lifetime in a day’

 

Leaving Some Requests for Your Own End-of-Life Ceremony

I’m happy to help you take the thoughtful step of thinking about and planning some aspects of your own funeral ceremony.  The mere fact that you’ve stated a few of your preferences can ease the stress on your grieving family and is often a tremendous help.

They’ll know they are honouring the wishes you have expressed and that they have your blessing to arrange the other aspects as they wish.

 

‘We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give’ 

 

Leaving Your Memories For Others to Benefit From

I also offer a life story writing service. This could be just for yourself or for you to leave to those you love, capturing whatever aspects you’d like to share of your unique life experience. If you wish, your words could be incorporated into your own end-of-life ceremony.

Based near Bradford-on-Avon, I’m happy to assist families in the surrounding Wiltshire and Bath area, or further afield.  I look forward to helping you however I can.

 

‘Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories’

Some of the testimonials I have received

(loved ones and family names altered for reasons of sensitivity)

You clearly have a natural gift for bringing together a series of ramblings from shocked people into a lovely, thoughtful and completely perfect service.

It was a pleasure working with you Julia and we found talking to you very therapeutic, we all learned more about Peter during the process. We will cherish the words of the service for ever.

Thank you again for guiding us through this difficult process and for all the time and energy that you put into making this day very special for us all.

I will never forget your kindness and professionalism.

Thank you so much for your incredible gift, for giving mum back to me with your words and your support. I will never forget what you have done for us.

Fantastic Julia – Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

Still can’t believe you have captured the essence of mum so brilliantly.

Thank you Julia for making it a lovely service, a perfect send off for him.

You have made something really beautiful and it’s Mum … every word, every thought is Mum. Thank you.

You have worked so hard to create a beautiful service and I can’t thank you enough. 

I’d like to thank you so much for all your hard work to make the service for my parents so beautiful.

I would like to thank you for the support and encouragement you gave me to deliver my tribute to Greg. It certainly helped to know that you were there waiting in the wings in case I faltered.

The words you wrote and spoke so beautifully just took my breath away. You have a gentle and caring soul and you brought such peace and love to the day. Every family who has your help at their loved one’s service is blessed and I’m so grateful to have met you and been able to share a part of Dad with you.

I’ve never been to a funeral where the person’s life was so celebrated and shared, in a truly unique way. It was a really thoughtful and special celebration.

You really managed to capture the essence of my mother. The hymns, poems and readings all complimented each other and made for a very beautiful service.

Your delivery was touching and faultless. 

It was fantastic – warm, family minded and classy.

You did a great job… Friends I have chatted to at the wake said… “If you didn’t know Noel going in, you knew him going out.” This was down to your compassion and attentiveness at the house and delivery at the time.

It really was a most wonderful service yesterday under your kind direction, especially the beautiful closing words of comfort.

You were utterly caring in how you helped us all through and, so importantly, you had chosen so thoughtfully the perfect words to include about our dear mum.

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Contact Julia Clarke:

M: 07722 602641
T: 01225 684218
juliaclarkefuneralcelebrant@gmail.com

Travel area:
Wiltshire, Bath or further afield