Humanist and Non Religious Funeral Celebrant in Sussex
This is the website for Steve Thomson. I am a Humanist and non religious funeral celebrant based in Chichester and covering the whole of Sussex and Hampshire.
Many people think that to have a funeral there has to be some kind of religious or faith-based ceremony, but in fact many funerals are non-religious.
This doesn’t mean that a non-religious funeral is any less respectful or dignified than a church funeral. However, if the deceased person didn’t have a faith – perhaps they identified as atheist or humanist – then a non-religious funeral is almost certainly going to be in keeping with what that person would choose given the opportunity. They may even have made their wishes known in an advance care plan or just in conversation with loved ones.
I have trained as a funeral celebrant with Humanists UK, and am available to conduct humanist and non-religious funerals in the West Sussex and Hampshire areas. I am based in Chichester but happy to travel to Havant, Worthing and Portsmouth.
A humanist funeral is generally based on a conversation between the celebrant and the people tasked with organising the funeral; usually family members. Details about the person who has died are collected, along with stories, anecdotes and other background material that will allow the celebrant to conduct a celebration of that person’s life that accurately reflects the individual.
As with any other funeral, there will be opportunities for people to say something; a reading, a eulogy, in fact – whatever is right for the occasion and for the people attending. Music and other contributions can of course be incorporated.
Throughout this, the celebrant will ensure that the event runs smoothly and that it is a respectful and dignified reflection of the person who has died as well as being exactly what the family or friends have requested.
If you would like more information on humanist funerals or the work of Humanists UK, or if you are looking for a non religious funeral celebrant Sussex then do please get in touch.
What is Humanism?
Humanism is an understanding that we have just one life. It is an ethical and moral viewpoint on making that life the best and most meaningful that we can. It is not a religion and you do not have to be a Humanist to have a Humanist Funeral. Humanists do not believe in an afterlife but they believe that we live in the lives of those we leave behind. Sir Terry Pratchett was a patron of the British Humanist Association and he sums up humanism in the quote he made:
“No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away, until the clock wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life is only the core of their actual existence.”
Arranging a non religious funeral in Sussex
Arranging a non religious or Humanist funeral may appear to be quite daunting but it doesn’t have to be. As a non religious funeral celebrant I will come and visit you at your home and we will have a relaxed conversation about your loved one. You may have ideas about music or readings you would like to be included in the funeral service in which case we can discuss these or if you would prefer I can suggest suitable options based on yours and your loved ones preferences. A funeral can be a celebration as well as a farewell so often people like to include some more upbeat non religious poems or readings.
Following our meeting I will draft a service based on our conversation and you will be able to see this and suggest any changes you might like. The Funeral Director and I will liaise regarding arrangements on the day and I will arrive at the funeral location in plenty of time to arrange the music and ensure that everything is ready for your arrival.
The funeral director who is caring for your loved one will liaise with you regarding the time and location of the funeral service and they will produce the order of service based on the service we agree on.
Some of the locations suitable for a non religious funeral in Sussex or nearby include:
Chichester Crematorium and cemetery
The Oaks Crematorium in Havant
Broadwater Cemetery Worthing
The Southdowns Natural Burial site at East Meon
Woodland Burial site in Hove