Hello, my name is Susan Clinch and I am a Kentish girl – well actually a ‘Maid of Kent’ as I was born and raised south of the River Medway in the little village of Leeds, near Maidstone.
Before dedicating my working life to be the best Funeral Life Celebrant ever - I worked as a Farmer, a Secretary, a Company Accountant and a Homecare Worker. The diversity of my working career has given me an insight into all walks of life and an ability to concentrate on attention to detail, even the smallest detail. I have trained and worked as a Samaritan, being ‘Listener Susan 699’ at the Ashford Branch. I have always enjoyed being able to help people and I love this part of my job as a Funeral Life Celebrant.
I had a very happy childhood and it was after my Mother’s funeral in 2014 that I decided to train as a Funeral Life Celebrant. My Father’s funeral, seven years previous had been shocking to my emotions; it was all about religion with the occasion mention of my Dad’s name. He was marched out of the service to “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave”, unemotionally and so quickly that myself, my siblings and my poor Mother had to virtually run to keep up with him to the graveside. My Mother’s funeral, in 2014, was much more gentle and meaningful but only because my sisters and I took a lot of control over the content of the service. Even so, we had to sing a hymn which we would not have chosen instead of our choice of ‘All things bright and beautiful’ – being told by The Rector that that hymn was not appropriate for a funeral!
I immediately set about training to be a Life Celebrant - because I feel that nothing should be inappropriate for our loved ones funeral. A funeral should be about how the deceased lived their life, how the deceased would have wanted their funeral to be, how the family of the deceased would want their life celebrated and how the family want to say goodbye to their loved one.
And so ….. after much research I trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants ….. and I absolutely love working with families and friends of the deceased, helping to create a personal and individual service for their deceased loved ones.
Increasingly more families are choosing to celebrate their important occasions by recruiting the help of a Celebrant. It is so powerful to have family members and friends coming together to celebrate life, death and all those life changing events in-between. And most importantly it is potent to celebrate how YOU want to celebrate – your choices, your decisions, your plans all coming to fruition with the help of a Celebrant.
Occasions such as a funeral, baby naming, a milestone birthday, an after-dinner speech, a wedding or vow renewal are all enhanced by using a Celebrant. Celebrants work in the families’ homes, chosen venues, crematoriums, public spaces, cemeteries and burial grounds, in fact anywhere that fits the occasion.
Celebrants are naturally friendly people, good communicators and worthy public speakers. After meeting with a family, a good Celebrant will have hit upon the appropriate tone to be used at the occasion and will be able to help the family decide on rituals, poems, readings, music and all other requirements which will make that special occasion so very right for that family.
As an independent Celebrant, I love that I am qualified and naturally gifted at being able to help families celebrate in their own way. At funerals being able to help families say goodbye to a loved one in a dignified and fitting way is such an honour. It is a real privilege to be accepted into a family at these times, to guide and help them to say what they want to say and do what they want to do in order to say their final farewell to a loved one.
A Funeral Life Celebrant trained by The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, always works to a high professional standard.
My aim is to help you put together a fitting celebration, a personal tribute and farewell service for your loved one.
Funeral services at Crematorium or Burial Ground
Interment of Ashes
Scattering of Ashes
Pet Funerals for our furry babies
When you lose a loved one, then traditionally, one of the first people you approach is the Funeral Director of your choice. The Funeral Director will deal with all legal and personal aspects of the deceased body. You will have to register the death with the Local Authority and then you will need to go on to arranging the funeral service at either a Church, a Cemetery, a Crematorium, at a Natural Burial Ground or at Home.
If you wish your loved one to be buried in a Cemetery, then you will have to contact the Owner of the Cemetery (sometimes, your local Council). There can also be a service in a Cemetery Chapel followed by the burial outside. If there is no Chapel at your choice of Cemetery, then we can hold a Celebration Service and Committal at the graveside.
If you have chosen a cremation, you also have the option of using your Funeral Life Celebrant again, after the cremation, to conduct a smaller service at the interment or scattering of the ashes.
If you chose to use a Natural, or Woodland Burial Ground then you can use a Funeral Life Celebrant to conduct an appropriate ceremony and burial at your chosen plot.
The deceased may be from any walk of life, young, old, a suicide victim, a child, a baby even. I have been privileged to create and help at all types of funerals. My largest funeral to date was attended by 200 motorcyclists, my smallest was attended by myself and a Funeral Director. Whatever the size of the congregation gathered to say goodbye, I believe that the deceased is entitled to the best ‘send off’ possible. We are all individuals and we all deserve to be remembered as an individual, with our own personal religious or non-religious views, likes, dislikes, achievements, loves and race. These all need to CELEBRATED, actually no, I feel these MUST be celebrated.
I respect all beliefs and I write beautiful alternatives to traditional funeral services. I will arrange and deliver an agreed relevant and appropriate ‘tribute and farewell’ funeral service for :
All religious beliefs
For all spiritual beliefs
HOW WE PUT TOGETHER A FITTING TRIBUTE FOR A DECEASED
Well simply put, we do it together!
We work together to produce a unique service which is meaningful to both family, friends and the deceased, one which is precisely the tribute and goodbye you would like for your loved one.
We do this by arranging a convenient time for me to come to visit you and any of your chosen family and friends. We will sit down (hopefully over a cup of tea!) for as long as it takes to choose venue for the service and then music, readings, poems, eulogy and content for anyone who wishes to speak.
Within the next few days, I will get back to you with my first draft for your service, maybe by email, or with a second visit. We then have until the day before your service to adjust, delete or add content to the words and content.
I promise to keep in touch with you throughout this process, to ensure you are always happy with how the service is progressing.
I will liaise with The Funeral Director and The Crematorium or Burial Ground to ensure that all your requirements are met.
On the day of your service, I will arrive at The Crematorium or Burial Ground with plenty of time to safeguard that all music and any other articles, are in place ready for you and your loved one when you arrive.
I will deliver the agreed service with professionalism, in a faultless, clear, audible and friendly tone of voice.
I will deliver the agreed service with the most utmost respect and dignity for the deceased.
I will give support, before and during the service to anyone who wishes to speak during the ceremony
You may either employ me direct or the Funeral Director of your choice would employ me, at your request. Just give them my name and contact details.
If you are dealing with a funeral for your loved ones death yourself (more and more people are!) then contact me directly and I can help you with all procedures and we can work openly together to create a fitting celebration and farewell service.
My fee for visiting you, providing an order for your celebration, conducting and delivering your service would be approximately £210.00, dependant on your requirements.
Celebration of Life:
After a cremation or burial service, you may like to celebrate your loved ones life with a gathering at home, or at a favourite place, indoors or outdoors, where a Service of Celebration can also take place. This can be immediately after the cremation or burial, the next day or any day in the future which suits your requirements. Perhaps if your loved one has died during the winter months and they loved the outdoors and sunshine – then a ‘Celebration of Life’ can be held later in the year in the sunshine at their favourite place, at home or maybe even on the beach!
Using a Celebrant ensures that there is order and structure to your celebration. We can listen to and talk through memories of the deceased, sing, listen to music, laugh, cry and even dance if you would like! The celebration should contain everything, and anything, that you would like and is appropriate to yourselves and the deceased.
Again, I will visit your family and friends (if applicable) to discuss your requirements for the day and a plan and script will be agreed by all parties ahead of the day, ensuring that all you have to do is enjoy, laugh, remember, cry and celebrate your loved one.
On the day, I will arrive at your venue with plenty of time to safeguard that everything is in place ready for a memorable celebration and I will deliver the agreed service with professionalism, in a faultless, clear, audible and friendly tone of voice.
My fee for visiting you, providing an order for your celebration, conducting and delivering your service would be approximately £200.00, dependant on your requirements.
These are traditionally used to welcome a new baby or older child into your family. Increasingly parents are wanting to welcome and celebrate their new arrival with an alternative to a religious ceremony. If the new member of your family is your baby, then a baby-naming-ceremony would be appropriate.
I will visit your family to discuss your requirements and offer suggestions to make your celebration really special. Once the order for the ceremony and the script have been agreed, I will arrive at your home, or your venue, in plenty of time to deliver a professional, yet friendly ceremony which usually involves the ‘welcomee’ of course!, all immediate members of your family, friends and any ‘Guardian Parents’.
My fee for visiting you, providing an order for your celebration, conducting and delivering your service would be approximately £195.00, dependant on your requirements.
There is nothing more emotive than to stand in front of a couple who wish to renew their marriage or life vows. I will visit you, listening to your requirements and offering suggestions to make your ceremony a truly special occasion. The ceremony can be at your home, at a venue of your choice, or outside maybe in your local woods, or on the beach. Wherever you choose, I promise to deliver your service in a friendly nature and with complete professionalism.
On the day of your Vow Renewal, I will arrive at your venue with plenty of time to safeguard that everything is in place ready for you and your guests when you arrive.
I will deliver the agreed service with professionalism, in a faultless, clear, audible and friendly tone of voice.
I will give support, before and during the service to everyone who wishes to speak during the ceremony
My fee for visiting you, providing an order for your celebration, conducting and delivering your service would be approximately £260.00, dependant on your requirements.
Birthday parties, Anniversary celebrations – indeed any celebratory occasion can be enhanced and enriched by using a good Celebrant. I promise to help you organise your celebration and deliver a service exactly to your requirements in a friendly and professional manner. Whether in your home, garden or venue of your choice, the possibilities are endless and I will endeavour to help you organise an occasion never to be forgotten.
On the day of your service, I will arrive at the venue with plenty of time to safeguard that all music and any other articles, are in place ready for a memorable celebration and I will deliver the agreed service with professionalism, in a faultless, clear, audible and friendly tone of voice.
My fee for visiting you, providing an order for your celebration, conducting and delivering your service would be approximately £240.00, dependant on your requirements.