I am an experienced celebrant of some nine years, having conducted 387 funerals to date. My bereavement care experience spans 1969 to date. I have attended five Cruse Bereavement Care modules. Undertaken Registrar training for crematorium management. Until recently I was at the sharp end, meeting and attending bereaved families as a Funeral Director, ascertaining needs and facilities required, and often conducting the funeral at the crematorium.
I will meet, discuss and tailor a funeral to your exact requirements, with no, little, or a fuller content of religion, according to your family’s wishes. A service may include synonymous music to celebrate the life, readings and poems, a tribute, hymns, no two services are the same. In today’s climate most funerals are unique and definitely bespoke. A life may be celebrated in so many ways, I am happy to discuss many ideas and suggestions.
My experience in bereavement care spans 1969 to the present. I started by helping a local Westbury area undertaker with bearing duties. This led to assisting at Salisbury Crematorium due to staff illness in 1971 when I found myself overseeing the smooth running of the chapel and looking after its patrons, ensuring cleanliness and attention to detail, further staff sickness led to me learning every requirement of the establishment, leading to crematorium management in later years.
A considerable proportion of my life led to being a broadcast journalist, delivering either live programming or news, this stood me in good stead for public speaking and lectures.
I consider myself to have one of the key qualifications for my role, which is not to be revered, I lost my life partner to cancer in 2007, and experienced the blackness of grief. I am therefore aware of the sensitivity when looking after a family, and explain some of the demons that raise their heads, ie; anger, loss, bewilderment, lack of concentration, reduction in energy and enthusiasm. I will call upon skills, such as humility, empathy, sympathy, patience and compassion.
I trained in bereavement care at Bath Crematorium in the early 2000s where I also experienced the transformation from a dated facility to an up to date modernised and high tech state of the art control system caring for the environment and energy resources. In 2007 I took up the role of Registrar and Manager at West Wiltshire Crematorium, where we updated many facilities including a computer play out music system that catered to every need, this has since been continuously updated, and like so many other similar establishments offer a huge selection of music.
Retiring at sixty, I found myself assisting and running Arthur W Mays in Westbury for the early days, arranging funerals and conducting them on the day, this I did for six years until a slipped disk in my back meant I was no longer able to meet all the day to day duties of being a Funeral Director.
I followed a colleague’s suggestion to take up the role of a Funeral Celebrant, having taken so many of the early morning funerals for families in and around Westbury. Having given the matter deep and careful consideration, I now have looked after over three hundred families, including a number of tragic age challenging situations that require great care and experience of life.