I live in Edinburgh, and work part-time for the charity Humanist Society Scotland as their Community Engagement Manager.
I believe in our common humanity, and that it is our relationships with our fellow human beings and the natural world around us that make our lives worthwhile.
I have been a member of Humanist Society Scotland for over a decade, and a registered Celebrant since 2011. I love conducting ceremonies, it is some of the most rewarding and worthwhile work that I do, and it is a real honour and a privilege.
What humanism means to me.
In short, it is about the things that bring us together rather than those that divide us. We treat this life as the only one we have, so we need to take responsibility for our actions in it. It is this acceptance that we each have only one life that makes it so very precious. Life is not a dress rehearsal and Humanism provides a positive and fulfilling life stance for making the one life we have as worthwhile as possible for ourselves and others. Above all Humanism is about being human.
Personally I try to live a good life, guided by reason and compassion – not religion or superstition. I enjoy fresh air and sunshine, reading books, cooking and socialising.
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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies
It’s a pleasure to help couples to celebrate their love for each other in a way that is personal and meaningful to them, it’s simply a privilege to be part of that.
I like couples to be fully involved in shaping and crafting their ceremony, and ideally writing their own vows. I am there to help couples to express what they would like to say, by providing resources, templates, suggestions and samples which will give you ideas and inspire you! I am happy to meet you first or speak on the phone before you make-up your mind. I can explain and guide you through the process, and help you to create the kind of ceremony you want. I usually meet couples at least once in person if possible, and continue to be available on the phone/skype and email.
I enjoy hearing the stories of two people who are in love and fully committed to each other, it is simply so life affirming. I love the energy, the emotions, the creativity, and the fun and laughter that are so often part of a Humanist ceremony.
Whether you have plans for something small and intimate, a big gathering, or something in-between, I would be delighted to work with you create the kind of ceremony you want. Conventional or unconventional, formal or informal, traditional or contemporary, simple or elaborate, the choice is yours! So please feel free to get in-touch and discuss your ideas with me.
Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies
The arrival of a new baby or child into a family is a joyous occasion, and a "naming" or "welcoming" ceremony provides a wonderful way to celebrate it.
Our ceremonies can provide a meaningful opportunity to gather family and friends to mark the occasion in a way that is fitting to your own life philosophy.
It is a way to introduce and welcome the child (or children) into both the wider community and into your family and circle of friends. You can use it to appoint "guide parents" or "supporting adults", or highlight the importance of family and friends in guiding and nurturing the child.
The degree of formality or informality is up to you. You can involve siblings and other family members if you wish, express your commitments to your child, re-affirm humanist principles and values, and incorporate moving symbolic gestures. Each ceremony is unique to the child/children and the family celebrating it.
It can be held in a location of your choice, at home or elsewhere, indoors or out, whatever captures your imagination!
I am happy to advice on choice of words, poetry, readings, music, activities and symbolic gestures (such as hand, foot or finger printing, candle lighting, a wishing tree, flying a kite, signing of commemorative certificates, proposing a toast etc.)
Please note that these ceremonies can be held for older children too, several children at once, an adult changing their name, or incorporated into a wedding ceremony.
A Humanist funeral should reflect the life and personality of the person who has died in a fitting and meaningful way. It’s a way of saying goodbye honestly and without pretence, using words and music to remember who they were and how they lived their life. It is a celebration of their life and the people who shared it with them.
Conducting funerals is some of the most important work I ever have done. Helping families and friends to say goodbye, but also to celebrate the life of their loved one, is an amazing privilege and I feel honoured to be asked to do so. I feel that my role, in helping you to plan the ceremony, is to listen, to empathise and to respond to your needs. As well as coming to terms with the sadness of your loss, it is also important to focus on your happy memories too. The funeral is an opportunity to reflect on both of these things and my job is to pay tribute to your loved one on your behalf so that the ceremony becomes a fitting celebration of their life. I always offer a preview of the tribute I have prepared so that you can suggest any alterations or additions that you wish.
I can help advise on readings, poetry and music, and offer support for any members of the family or friends who wish to speak during the ceremony.
Contact me to confirm my fee