About Me

I am a fully qualified life celebrant, as well as a counsellor and therapist, and have spent many years presenting and hosting events, including being a master of ceremonies.

These experiences make me a natural choice for leading any occasion, whether to celebrate the birth of a new life, a happy union or the passing of a loved one.  My ability to tune in to the different emotions surrounding each of these different occasions means I can help you create the most unique, thoughtful and memorable event.

What is a Celebrant?

A civil funeral celebrant is an individual person, who offers to perform civil funerals in a dignified and culturally acceptable manner, for those who, for whatever reason, do not choose a religious ceremony. Civil funeral celebrants also serve people who have religious beliefs but do not wish to be buried or cremated from a church, temple or mosque. More frequently, people choose civil funeral celebrants because they wish a professional person to co-create a service centered on the person, their history and their achievements.

This is often in contrast to the established set-ritual ceremonies of most religions. In celebrant ceremonies decisions about the content of the ceremony are made by the family of the deceased in consultation with the celebrant. Therefore, the civil celebrant can be defined as a professionally trained ceremony-provider who works in accordance with the wishes of the client. Depending on circumstances, best practice is usually for funeral celebrants to interview the family, carefully prepare and check the eulogy, brief those persons chosen to give reminiscences, and finally to provide resources and suggestions that will assist the client family to choose the most appropriate music, video/photo presentations, quotations (poetry and prose), symbols and movement or choreography. Sometimes a rehearsal is indicated for a funeral. More often a planning session is sufficient to ensure that the ceremony that is delivered is the one that is planned. In this task the funeral celebrant works in cooperation with a Funeral director.

A celebrant, by this definition, does not come from the standpoint of any doctrinal belief or unbelief. A trained celebrant usually operates professionally on the principle that their own beliefs and values are not relevant.

Ceremonies

Funerals

Not everyone feels a fully religious ceremony in a church would be appropriate at the end of their life, a celebrant gives the opportunity to have a dignified service and allows your family and friends to reflect on your life in an appropriate way.

The ceremony can be traditional or contemporary, formal or relaxed and semi-religious or non-religious, to reflect your wishes and the wishes of the deceased. The service could include favourite music, readings, poetry, a eulogy and family memories along with prayers and hymns if you wish to include a religious element. Nothing in the ceremony will offend those who are religious, in fact people of all persuasions often comment on how uplifted they feel.

Many bereaved families have not had to organise a funeral before and I am able to provide practical help, support and advice with any part of this journey from your loved one’s death to the final goodbye. I am available to help you to plan, guide and deliver as much or as little of the funeral as you wish.

I have listed details of some groups that are able to offer support at this most difficult time.

Care for the Family – UK charity working in all areas of family life, including bereavement support

tel: 0292 081 0800

email: mail@cff.org.uk

Age UK – Fact sheets and information on all aspects of death & bereavement

tel: 0800 169 6565 (8am-7pm) 

email: contact@ageuk.org.uk

 National Association of Widows – Information and details of local branches

tel: 0845 838 2261

email: info@nawidows.org.uk

National Association of Bereavement Services – Information about Bereavement Counselling Services in all areas

tel: 0207 806 4013

email: hospice.info@hje.org.uk

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – Information and help for Families bereaved by suicide

tel: 0115 944 1117

email: sobs.admin@care4free.net

Counselling Directory – a confidential service that encourages those in distress to seek help. The directory contains information on many different types of distress, as well as articles, news, and events.

http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/

Weddings

The days of Traditional Weddings are now over, if it’s not what you want, you don’t have to have it. The choices are now endless. If you decide to choose a Celebrant to conduct your Ceremony, you can get the exact dream wedding that you want, and I can help you plan the ceremony, the only limits are the ones in your mind.

However, on a legal point you must ensure that to be legally married you visit a registrar to obtain your marriage certificate. This is something that Celebrants are at this point unable to do. You can do this either before or after your chosen wedding ceremony.

If you choose to tie the knot abroad you may want a service held in the UK on your return for those that couldn’t make it.

Baby Naming

More and more people are choosing a secular ceremony to welcome babies and children into their midst, perhaps to celebrate their older children and family or to declare their commitment and love in front of their family and friends, it may also be to welcome step children into their family circle.

Contact Me

If you have an upcoming occasion, whether to celebrate the birth of a new life, a happy union or the passing of a loved one, I would love to help. Please give me a call or fill out the form below and I will get back to you.

07768 844484

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Al Mayfield | Life Celebrant
Based in Buckinghamshire | 07768 844484