Welcome To 
 Susan Clinch Celebrant

ABOUT ME

I have been an established Independent Funeral Life Celebrant in Kent for the past five years. In December 2019 I decided to ‘slow the pace’ of life and with my family I have moved to the beautiful village of Bradenham in Norfolk. I am so excited at the prospect of being able to continue my good work as a Life Celebrant in this stunning part of England.
In my role over the past five years, I have thrived on helping Funeral Directors and bereaved families give their loved ones the most bespoke, personal and meaningful farewell service. Each one of my families have had their service written by me starting with a blank piece of paper and writing with complete knowledge of the deceased. Each service is unique and bespoke. I will have already gleaned information from meeting ‘my family’ to talk over the deceased’s wishes, personality and life. I say ‘my’ family, because I always feel so involved and I truly do feel part of all of my families as I guide and help them through the process of saying goodbye to the physical presence of one of their family members.
Earls Funeral Directors in Kent say “Susan is a ‘one in a million’ Celebrant, we know that whatever walk of life our family is from, whatever their wishes, religious or non-religious, we can always rely on Susan to represent our Company well, and more importantly serve the wishes of our family, with complete empathy, understanding and dedication.
I have enjoyed quite a varied life over my 60 years. Please don’t think “oh she’s old, she’s 60”! I have to be one of the ‘youngest at heart 60 year olds’ you will ever meet! I was born into a large, traditional Kentish family and I am the third child of six children. I was blessed with a happy and relatively carefree childhood - although it has to be noted that of the six children, I was the most adventurous and probably even the ‘high-spirited’ one!
As a child, living in the small village of Leeds in Kent, we rang the church bells and we sang in the church choir. Although I cannot describe myself as an active Christian I do try to live a good ‘Christian’ life, but in reality I am now completely open to the discussions of “Is there, or there not a God”, “There has to be something else surely” and “Religion has brought nothing but misery into this World”. I understand all religions and non-religions and I understand most of the Gods which people worship.
   
I am happy to pray with people - as I understand their need from my childhood. I am also happy to help families with humanist beliefs and in all manner of non-religious services. In truth, I find a lot of families, like me, are undecided and often I am asked to do a ‘non-religious’ service, with maybe a hymn and a prayer. Each service is so unique and individual to that person and to their family that - for me anyway - anything which is right for my family is indeed appropriate.
 
My Dad passed away in 2007 and his service was neither comforting or indeed much about my Dad at all. My dear Mum, then joined my Dad in 2015 and being a bit more ‘savvy’ now, we children made sure we had a bit more say in our Mum’s service and to a degree we achieved this. But this was my ‘lightbulb’ moment! I decided I would train to become an Independent Life Celebrant to help families, just like my own, say goodbye to their loved one in a manner which suits both them and the deceased.
I immediately trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants and I have not looked back since! I absolutely love my work! I can help people! I can make a difference!
My travels and very varied work experiences have put me in a good position to be able to relate to most people’s walks of life. I have owned my own sheep Farm, I have worked in a London based high-profile Accountancy position, I have been a Delivery Driver, I have been a Financial Director of a Production Company and I have been a Homecare Worker - I loved this work - helping elderly people stay in their own homes, listening to their willingly shared life stories. Fascinating and so rewarding!

WHAT IS A CELEBRANT

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.

I am also part of a team of local family Celebrants and a member of Living Funeral Services which is a new concept in the funeral industry. We are the first organisation to offer clients hosted ‘Celebration of Life’ (living funerals) and a bespoke funeral writing and planning service.

We improve “people lives by introducing them to the benefits of planning their funerals ahead of time and not leaving it to loved ones when they have passed.

We are specialist in planning and hosting Celebrations of Life (Living Funerals) whilst clients are alive. Having a Celebration of Life brings families and friends together, where they can enjoy a meal, re-live wonderful memories, tell stories of past times, listen to their favorite music, watch family videos, have slide shows......a sort of 'This is your Life' This is not only a celebration, it engages everyone and will be a great help later with their grieving process.

I of course, offer bespoke funeral planning and the writing of a unique service. If I can help you with any Life Celebrancy matters, I would be delighted to talk to you on the phone, by email, or visit you at your home address.


FUNERALS and CELEBRATION OF LIFE

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

For Agnostics

For Atheists

For Humanists

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.


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.


Naming Ceremonies

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’.  

Vow Renewal Services                            

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

Other Celebration Services

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.


What Our Fantastic Family's Say

Dear Sue,
Just wanted to drop you a line to say a big thank you for conducting the service for Dad. I’ve had messages from everyone who attended saying what a fitting send off it was. A few people also commented on how natural and inclusive it was, so whilst sad, it had moments of humour and a gentle, kind ambiance.
Thank you for your help and input on Thursday and Friday. Your contribution leant an air of dignity and order to both occasions.   
I didn’t get a chance to thank you on Monday for all your help in planning and conducting dad’s funeral, but thought I’d let you know how much we all appreciated your thoughtfulness and kind words.  
I just wanted to send you an email to thank you for a fantastic service that you did for my father. It was so Lovely and everyone enjoyed it even though it was a sad day. It was lovely to meet you and I wish you all the very best. Thank you so much once again.
I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful service you performed for my father's funeral. You managed to make a wonderful story about my father from mum's and my ramblings.
There was a lot of laughter on the day to celebrate his life and tears as we will all miss him so much. I hope he was looking down on us and realising how many people loved him 
Hi Sue, just wanted to thank you again for such a lovely service yesterday. Everybody commented afterwards what a lovely service is was and that Nan would have loved it. Thanks for making a difficult day more bearable. S would also like to pass on her gratitude for how you actually read out the Eulogy – it was spoken exactly how she intended it to come across. Well done and thank you so much.  

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