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Saying goodbye your way

My decision to become a funeral celebrant has stemmed from  going to funerals which seemed very impersonal and where the celebrant leading the funeral knew very little about the person who had died.  I recall going to the funeral of an elderly friend and thinking “I could do better than that”.

I trained as a teacher of movement and dance, but I have also worked in retail management and been a freelance editor.  For the last 20 years I have been a web designer and computer trainer.  In an  effort to get away from the computer screen, I also taught line dancing to a group of blind people and to a pensioners group for many years.  In the summer I also teach  maypole dancing.

For many years  have been fascinated by the story of peoples lives and an avid reader of biographies and the stories of “ordinary” people, but to me no one is ordinary - everyone has an extraordinary life story. These are the stories which I would like to tell during a ceremony.

In the last few years, I have been involved in planning and delivery of a number of family funeral ceremonies, the most recent of these was under Covid restrictions so I understand how hard it is for families who cannot grieve as they would have expected to.

I come from Yorkshire and spent part of my early life in Scotland, but have lived in Reading for over 30 years.

I am a member of a  group which performs clog and step dances from across Britain and have a great  interest in genealogy, I am a not very proficient concertina player, knitter and crocheter.  I also am also a volunteer at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading.