Humanist Celebrants

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We humans have a need for some ritual and ceremony to mark important stages in our lives, and for thirty years or so, humanist celebrants have been helping families whose lives don’t involve religion to organise funerals, baby-naming, partnership and wedding ceremonies which are meaningful to them.

Celebrants who have trained with the British Humanist Association, and are accredited by them, follow established guidelines and work to an agreed standard. They always visit their clients and together with them create a ceremony which is personal, dignified and relevant to them.

A few practicalities:

  • Humanist ceremonies can take place anywhere.
  • Funerals can be arranged by phoning a celebrant directly or by telling the Funeral Director you would like a humanist funeral.
  • Humanist weddings have not up to now been legally binding, but after successful campaigning by the BHA, it is hoped that in 2015 the situation may change.
  • For all ceremonies there will be a preliminary meeting between the celebrant and the client(s), to share ideas and begin to shape the ceremony. After that meeting, the celebrant writes a script for the day, which can then be amended.
  • Celebrants accredited by the British Humanist Association charge a fee which is within the range approved by the BHA, to whom they pay a levy on each ceremony.
  • Contact details are on the `Find a Celebrant’ section of the BHA website.

In Shropshire there are five accredited celebrants – click on the link to email them directly, or contact us:

Victoria Denning (Bishop’s Castle)  [funerals, namings and weddings]

Sue Falder (Telford)  [funerals]

Simon Nightingale (Shrewsbury)  [funerals]

Jano Rochefort (Ludlow)  [namings and weddings]

Ralph Smith (Clun)  [funerals]

The BHA publishes three booklets which are helpful for those thinking about a non-religious ceremony: Funerals Without God, Sharing the Future and New Arrivals. They all contain suggestions for wording and whole ceremonies to give you some ideas and can be obtained from the BHA website or by telephoning 020 7324 3069.

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