The Funeral Celebrancy Council
The Funeral Celebrancy Council is the result of established professional associations and training providers within the funeral celebrancy sector working together for the first time.
As funeral celebrants become increasingly the first choice for many bereaved people, more and more people are choosing to work as funeral celebrants either with or without training, but in an unregulated profession there was a need for common standards. Recognising that the funeral ceremony should be a positive part of the grieving process, but that the quality of ceremonies varies significantly, the Funeral Celebrancy Council defines best practice and sets standards so everyone can access the best funeral ceremony possible.
The Funeral Celebrant Accord and the accompanying Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence are resources for funeral directors and celebrants to support raising standards through a mutual understanding of how we define a good, indeed excellent celebrant. Through the use of these resources we aim to set the bar for excellent celebrancy and in doing so seek to develop and improve the relationship between funeral directors and celebrants, and an appreciation of the value of a good celebrant.
In 2018 the Council conducted a national survey amongst over 500 funeral celebrants, the first survey of this kind ever performed. 76% said they belonged to one of 23 professional associations. A central organisation is consequently much needed to provide one overarching voice for the understanding of, and raising of standards in, funeral celebrancy.
The Council has therefore been established to work to improve standards of funeral celebrancy across the profession and to give celebrants the central ‘voice’ that is needed, while providing funeral directors, their trade associations, government bodies, press and other outside organisations one centre to liaise with.
What does the council intend to do?
So far we have:
• Created the Funeral Celebrant Accord – Read More
• Implemented Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence – checklists for funeral directors, arrangers and members of the public meeting a celebrant for the first time – Read More
• Conducted ground breaking research (data soon to be released)
We now aim to:
• Publish Professional Standards for Funeral Celebrants
• Be a voice for UK based Funeral Celebrants
• Be available to respond to journalists’ requests to comment upon funerals or other subjects relevant to the practice of funeral celebrancy.
• Talk to funeral directors about fair fees for funeral celebrants who provide completely unique ceremonies or who bring extra professional skills to the role of celebrant.
The Funeral Celebrancy Council is composed of established professional associations and training providers within the funeral celebrancy sector working together for the first time. It grew out of a realisation that more and more people are becoming funeral celebrants either with or without training, and there were no common standards across the profession. All organisations on the council have an equal say.
Why it’s time for a united Funeral Celebrancy Council
The quality of the celebrant makes a great difference to any non-religious funeral ceremony that takes place. A funeral is a critical part of the grieving process and often the moment, and only opportunity, for people to freely express and share their feelings, and create meaningful memories of the person who has died. Good funerals, which are meaningful to bereaved people, aid the grieving process and, therefore, contribute to the health of the nation.
Celebrancy is a relatively new profession which good celebrants seek to promote as an alternative to traditional ceremonies. However, the public often view ceremonies as mere formality. No family deserves a funeral which is poor because not enough thought and skill went into it, and varying standards of practice reflect poorly on this currently unregulated profession.
We know that standards are inconsistent across the profession, however, as a council we are all agreed about the criteria that define a good celebrant. We feel that bereaved people should expect no less. We are working with funeral directors to encourage them to only recommend celebrants who aspire to meet the criteria set out in The Funeral Celebrant Accord, and we have offered them Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence as a simple checklist resource.
Standards of funerals should always be high – we only get to do them once. Many people have very low expectations of a funeral and consider it an unpleasant formality, therefore, many people accept poor quality impersonal ceremonies, but this does not need to be the case. The Funeral Celebrancy Council is setting standards so that everyone can access the best funeral ceremony possible.