I’ve long been a fan of Grayson Perry. Not just of his work as a potter which is as subversive as it is beautiful, but also of his clear-eyed attempts to understand and explain the human condition. He’s a gifted communicator, whose easy directness allows him to connect with people from all cultures and walks of life, and … Continue Reading
Many humanists are scientists, by inclination if not actual training, and I noticed today a new summation of what humanists believe that places emphasis on ‘science and reason’. As someone who failed physics ‘O’ Level and had a chemistry essay published in his school magazine as an example of ‘humorous writing’, you may already have … Continue Reading
I’ve conducted a number of ceremonies recently for former members of the armed forces, and I’ve been very touched to see their old comrades turn out wearing their berets and regimental ties, accompanied by a standard bearer with the colours bearing their battle honours.Peter’s funeral had all of those elements, but what made it extra … Continue Reading
I don’t know what Willie believed about life after death, but he did make his funeral wishes clear. “Landfill, NO bonfire!!”
I was honoured to be asked to deliver a Remembrance address to the staff of the Scottish Government at St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh yesterday.
From the flowers of the forest
To the fallen men of Flanders field,
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning,
We will remember you.
Unlike quite a few of my friends, I never had the pleasure of meeting Sean Hughes, the gifted writer and comedian who died yesterday. I was aware of his comic genius, but I’d never read this poem, which was reproduced today in The Guardian. I hope someone is asked to read it at his funeral! … Continue Reading
If you follow my blog, you’ll know I was delighted to be nominated, and then shortlisted for the Vows Awards a couple of weeks ago: that was entirely thanks to the many couples who voted for me to show their appreciation for the ceremonies that I conducted for them. I have been a celebrant for twelve … Continue Reading
I’ve been a celebrant for a dozen years now, and over that time, the character of funerals has undoubtedly changed. Two years ago, the BBC ran this story based on an ICM survey, in which it found that 54% of people wanted a ceremony that was ‘a celebration of life’. Almost as many wanted to … Continue Reading
One of the joys of my work is the relationship that comes from working with families over time. Our meetings may well take place in different places, but whether it’s the naming of a child, a marriage, or a funeral, we are always talking about the same subject: the importance of love in our lives. … Continue Reading