Guest Blog

Phil Griggs - Civil Celebrant

A couple of years ago I attended a couple of funerals, one for a family member and one for a close friend. One was in a church and the other was a humanist ceremony. Although both were excellent in their own way, I left feeling that I personally hadn’t been fully included. I was aware that if I felt that way then there must be many others who were experiencing corresponding feelings.

It happened that I attended a celebrant-led funeral of an ex-colleague in Surrey a few months later, and became aware that there are many ways that we can celebrate and remember the lives of those we love who have died, within a ceremony that is inclusive and relevant to all.

I have a had a long career in facilitation to diverse groups of people and was looking for a worthwhile and meaningful job that I could do whilst still having time during the week to experience the Somerset countryside and all that this lovely county has to offer. And so I began a comprehensive few months of distance learning that culminated in a residential training week with Civil Celebrants Ltd. I passed the examination and was awarded a diploma in Civil Celebrancy.
And so here I am a year or so later having led many funerals in our three local crematoriums, in private venues, chapels of rest and at the graveside. It has been a privilege to have talked and worked with grieving families.

I am self-employed and am engaged by and work with funeral directors on that basis whom I have found to be dedicated and caring professionals.

Celebrants offer a real alternative to a fully religious or humanist service, whilst still including all the elements of a traditional ceremony. Celebrants will help you create either a non-religious funeral, or one that incorporates religious or spiritual content from whatever religion or tradition that you choose - including prayers, psalms and, yes of course, music of your choice whether that be the Rolling Stones, J.S.Bach or your favourite hymns.