Clare Mellor
Funeral Celebrant in West Suffolk


Over the years I have had the privilege and sadness to organize and be involved in many funeral ceremonies. As I gained personal experience I quickly realised that the ceremonies which meant most to me on a personal level were not necessarily those of people who had been close to me. The ceremonies where the life of the person who had died (however long or brief) was celebrated, understood and marked with respect and thanksgiving remained long in my memory.

After arranging and conducting my Mother’s funeral in 2015, I started to research becoming a celebrant and “found” my way to HumanistsUK; I am now an accredited Humanist ceremonies celebrant.
Humanist funerals are suitable for anyone who would be most appropriately remembered with a personal non-religious ceremony, in fact Humanist funerals are becoming the mainstream choice.
Religious content can be be involved where it reflects on the life of the person but not as an act of worship. Religious influence is embedded in our everyday life and often appreciated by non-religious people; a hymn may remind someone of their favourite rugby team for example. Humanist funerals are based on the humanist perspective that every life is individual and valuable. They can held wherever you wish and will be warm, dignified and honest.

Humanism is about living a full life and in death acknowledging that we only have this one life lived well in our community. There is no “one-size-fits-all”; we are unique individuals with different paths to follow.

If you choose me to lead the funeral ceremony of your loved one:
  • I will ring you to talk in general terms about your requirements, what sort of funeral you envisage, where and when. I have found that my prompt list, which I send out before any in-depth planning, is useful to help corral thoughts.
  • Depending on Covid considerations, I would then arrange to visit you (or use Zoom, or telephone calls) to talk about the deceased and build up a word picture of their life story to build the ceremony around. This visit would last between 1.5 - 2 hours. Other members of the family or friends could also be present at this meeting especially if they might want to do a reading or be involved in the ceremony in some way.
  • I would then write the first of what could be several drafts of the Life Story and basic outline of the ceremony. This would be e-mailed to you for approval and amendment. See the "Blog" page for typical e-mail conversations.
  • I would confirm all arrangements.
  • I would lead the funeral or memorial ceremony.
  • After the funeral you would receive a presentation copy of the ceremony script as well as by e-mail.
Of paramount importance for me is providing a unique ceremony planned with you, which is meaningful and reflects the life and values of the person who has died.

Please take a look at the “Further Information” page on the menu bar for links to several external websites which you may find useful.

The majority of funerals are arranged by Funeral Directors and they will have the expertise and local knowledge to help you through this difficult time. My fee is usually included in the costings when I am booked through a Funeral Director, and, as a rule of thumb from January 2022, it is £250. This includes time, and travelling expenses.