Training Feedback from Funeral Celebrants

Distance Learning Feedback - Nov 17


‘I found the first part of the training to be most enjoyable, stimulating and thought provoking. It was fun, (if that is the right word) and I couldn’t wait to get to the next section. The material was very well presented, clear and concise and laid out in logical form which mad working through it enjoyable. Right from the outset rigour in process and applying standards was most apparent adding to a feeling of worth and satisfaction. You people seem to be exceptional an, rather uncommonly, the right hand knows what the left hand is doing!!’


‘I have been impressed throughout by the combination of friendly and professional assistance given.’


‘I have undertaken many training programmes over the years and mostly what lets them down is poor administration and poor communication. Civil Ceremonies appears to have got both sorted - I have nothing but praise for both elements. When I have had questions, Hazel has been able to help me and has even gone out of her way to provide me with helpful additional information, for which I am extremely grateful. The distance learning was very good, and written in a way that underpins the guidance to write clearly, concisely and simply.

Overall Course Feedback:

We love to hear from funeral celebrants that we have trained as they grow and develop their business. These are some comments we have had from Celebrants who ‘got going’ recently.  

Can I just say how valuable the course has been to get me started as a Funeral Celebrant. It does not matter how long you have been in the business, this still helped me considerably in advice and also tools of the trade. Therefore many thanks for all the hard work from all the instructors.

Bill Wilde

 ‘I just wanted to thank you - not only for the course last year, but also for the continued support and assistance along the way. Things are going well - and I have averaged 4 to 5 funerals per month so far - and have 3 now booked for January. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you. ‘ 

Adrian Eden

‘I completed the Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy in February 2014 and on Monday 5th January I lead my 50th ceremony. I just thought I'd drop you a line to say what amazing preparation the training has proved to be. At no time did I feel out of my depth (and I've had a very wide range of situations to deal with!). Thank you again.’

Chris Mills

‘On a personal note, last week was incredibly special for me.  I learned so much from you and your wonderful team, and I enjoyed every minute - it was the right balance of information provision, continual support and constant challenge, pushing us to practice what had been taught - so a huge and very sincere ‘thank you’ to you, Jill, John and the rest of your amazing team.  Your passion for, and belief in, what you do shines through the entire course - from the materials you provide, to the trainers you engage, to the guest speakers who came to talk to us, to the administration team in the office; every one of them shares your commitment and passion for what you do.  This job really is a ‘profession’, and I hope that in the weeks and months to come, I can provide a high quality, personal, unique ceremony for every future client who engages my services. ‘ Clair O'Reilly February 2018


The course was enjoyable, well presented and very professional. I enjoyed all the guest presenters who provided a good insight into the funeral industry.

The content of the course has equipped me well to work as a funeral celebrant and was full and comprehensive in content. Presenting at the crematorium was a pivotal part of the training, well planned and executed.  The training team were true professionals and made the course interesting and inspiring. There was pressure to complete tasks in a limited time but it proved effective, yes we can do it.

This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I will never forget the brilliant, inspiring training, or the trainers. Quite simply I cannot thank you enough. Nikki Ayling - October 2017


I so enjoyed my training and it has given me the opportunity to do something that I have wanted to do for some time. I also thank you for giving me my first 'break', that undoubtedly paved the way for what has followed for me.

I am not sure if it is luck, good fortune or something else that has been on my side since doing that first funeral. What I do know is that the day I handed my notice in, almost 8 weeks ago, the phone rang from a local funeral director and I haven't looked back since. With each funeral, I have learned something new. If it’s not about the 'how to do it better' it’s about the human race.

When I conducted my first funeral, I was humbled by the opportunity to talk to people, about 'their' person, telling stories that they were a part of, without knowing any of them. I feel so honoured with each opportunity I am given. When I say the words, 'I am privileged to be leading today’s ceremony', I mean it from my heart. I hope that this continues to be the case throughout my career. In fact, if it stops, then I shall.

In the 13 funerals I have written (3 to deliver this week)  they have all been incredibly diverse. And that is the challenge I love. I go with no 'pre conceived' ideas when I meet the families and when I come home to write, it just seems to come together. Lorraine Inglis - March 2017  


I have now conducted my first funeral, in fact I was lucky to do so less than one week after completing the course. I spent hours at the keyboard typing out facts, constructing someone's life story and then the big day rolled round and I stood before a crowd of around 35 people and told the story. And it felt that this is what I am truly meant to do, it was hard work, but so incredibly rewarding. I felt so incredibly humble as I stood at the front of the chapel, telling a story about the man in the coffin. Half of the congregation were stars of the story. I knew no-one.  Afterwards I even got a lovely email from the family. I really didn't expect that, even the funeral director had said, they might not be the type of family who give any feedback, but equally so, if they weren't happy, we would soon know about it!

So thank you so very much again, for being so very kind, friendly and patient. Lorraine Inglis March 2017


‘It really was one of the best courses I have ever been on (and I’ve been on, written and taught quite a few). Please thank everyone again for a really well put-together and challenging week’ Tamara Bibby March 2017


‘Thank you very much for a wonderful course last week. I found you and all the tutors truly inspirational and am very keen to put everything you taught us into practice. Your kind encouragement and wonderful motivation gives me confidence, and I am preparing to hit the ground running.Thank you once again for a splendid course and for opening up such exciting possibilities. Oliver Tims March 2017


I have done 23 services now and I have recommended you and your course to some of my friends. It was an excellent course and gave me the skills and the confidence to pursue this as a career. I have had some excellent feedback. Thanks to you and all your team. Wayne O’Brien - Sept 2016.


Just a quick line to say I can’t believe it just coming up to one year since the course.  It’s been an incredible year, full of challenges and a sense of achievement in more ways than I could ever have imagined. I’ve certainly had some frights and delights along the way.

Though I was totally exhausted after the course (and took a week to recover) I hit the ground running. It wasn’t until I was doing the job that it became clear how thoroughly the course had prepared me.  I have already done well over one hundred services though I have to admit it has been hard work at times to get the funeral directors to try me out. Happily I am starting to get a few who think of me now as a first call.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories and the challenge of accurately reflecting a life in a way that is suited to the individual family.  The creative side of a service is so very rewarding.

I would like to thank you for all the support and advice you have given me over the past twelve months and enabling me to do a job that has made me feel properly useful in the world. I look forward to joining you on a further course later this year. Louise Goode Trained March 2016


I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the support you all give and the excellent training you provide. I led my first funeral on the 15th June 2016 and have got my 50th on Friday. I am getting regular bookings from some funeral directors where I didn’t even think I’d get a look in and have had some lovely feedback and comments from the families I have helped.

Being able to ring and ask for advice (especially the other day when I rang for some last minute advice before going to see the family of a 19 year old girl who had taken her own life) is invaluable. The funeral directors are rebooking me mainly because, they have told me, I get things done on time and communicate with them and the family well, some others who have been trained elsewhere/not trained at all, do not have this as a priority, you make sure to train the whole celebrant and not just the read out delivery for the ceremony itself, which is so important.

The decision to leave my old job and become a self employed funeral celebrant was something I was naturally concerned about, but I didn’t need to worry. If I find myself worried about something in a ceremony the support is there from Civil Ceremonies, the Facebook group or other celebrants individually.

I am so glad that I decided to train with you, my experience may not have been so good if I had chosen another route. Thank you for everything you do. Ellie Lomas - Jan 16 N & C Course & April 16 Funeral Course

A fantastic course - much enjoyed and so many knowledgable, human and humourous tutors. You must be exhausted! You have given us all a very thorough grounding and an ability to grow further as we develop our professional work in the future. I cannot think of anything that would improve this course.. Your attention to detail in every aspect is stunning. A heartfelt 'thank you'. - Sarah Bertram - Oct 16


I would like to thank you, and the other tutors for the training.  I was so glad that you went into so much detail and how each point was reinforced as to its importance. I was so glad for all the information when putting this, my first funeral together and for emphasising the importance of what we do and how we do it. I knew that if I stuck to my training I would be okay. - Sue Ilett - Apr 16


I thoroughly enjoyed the course. In the job I have just retired form, I was observing teaching sessions every day which means that I naturally find myself ‘observing’, even when in the position of a student. With this hat on, I can honestly say that all sessions delivered were excellent and were well focussed with the correct mix of learning activity to achieve the learning aims and objectives. It is very clear that you have evaluated and refined your programme until you have reached this level of excellence and effectiveness. Time went so quickly, as it was so enjoyable, although I was exhausted by the end of the week.  I did not realise that I would learn so much and am really enthusiastic about becoming a celebrant.  Thank you so much. Linda Fosbrook - March 2016  


This course is very comprehensive - stuffed full with theory, information and, most importantly, practice.  To describe it as "full on" doesn't quite do justice to the ground we as trainees covered in under 5 days.  But we were guided expertly through the entire course by Anne and her team who, with their wealth of experience, were always available for advice or feedback.  The course is full on for a reason.  It really does prepare you for the realities of working as a funeral celebrant - running a business, prioritising workloads, interpersonal skills and self awareness.  Since qualifying under 2 months ago, I have led 6 funeral services and Anne is always available to contact to offer a gentle and very experienced guiding hand.  I am so glad I chose this course.  It was definitely the right one for me and for my future as a celebrant. Kate Barker - Oct 15

Yesterday I did my first ceremony and I just wanted to say that your training is brilliant - it all kicked in in the preparation and delivery - I can't praise the course enough.  I loved doing the ceremony and received very positive feedback from clients and the Funeral Director.  The first of many ......Fiona Jackson - July 15


I have just spoken to a lady about training to become a funeral celebrant and I was very happy to speak to her.  it's almost exactly a year since I did the course and I've been reflecting on how things have progressed for me. I was able to tell her that that I had no reservations in recommending the Civil Ceremonies course, and I was also able to tell her how I have got on in the two months since I gave up full-time work and starting practising as a celebrant.  It's early days of course, but I had three funerals in June and have two booked for July already, which is slightly ahead of my business plan - I did tell her that a lot of the work is by recommendation and so it's a slow build-up.  I have had excellent feedback so far and I have just joined the Institute which I hope will help with marketing my business.  More importantly, I was able to tell her that so far I haven't come across anything which wasn't covered at some point on the course - it really does deal with everything from marketing to running a business to dealing with difficult clients, I have had frequent recourse to my notes during the first couple of funerals!  It might sound odd to anyone outside the industry to say that I enjoy leading funerals, but I feel as if I am able to do something which is helping the clients, and the job satisfaction is immense.  I just wanted to thank you and the other tutors for the training, it has really helped me to get started in a role which I love, I think it was a very thorough preparation for this role. Olivia Burren - July 15


I can safely confirm that the training works.  I've completed 3 services to date and have another 3 for next week.  It's good to be up and running and I tell you, I was putting absolute faith in the training. A strange thing happened after yesterday’s service, for a lovely man and a wonderful family.  I was thanking the mourners for their support, outside and an elderly lady mourner, took to me to one side. " My husband is very ill and receiving palliative care" she informed me. "When the inevitable happens, will you do the service?".  I was so touched. What an absolute privilege this is, to be invited into someone's home to talk about a loved one and then be able to tell their story to an audience.  I never imagined it would be this fulfilling. Gary Rollins - April 2015


‘Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This has been one of the most challenging experiences I have encountered since leaving college. I genuinely didn’t believe I could push myself that hard, that long.  But I am elated I have achieved my end goal and pass the course! It’s ignited my interest in education once more and made me realise anything’s possible with focus and determination. I’m looking forward to my new vocation! Anne Scadding – April 2015


‘What a wonderful course. I have learnt so much. It was well planned – full on and packed. Thank you to the staff – all were brilliant. Excellent value for money. Gillian Tullock - Feb 2015


‘I appreciate how hard you have worked to deliver this course. It was a privilege to be here.  Lorraine Hull - Feb 2015 


‘I came on this course because I thought that it would give me the best possible training and in turn would give my future clients the best possible service. It has certainly delivered on so many levels. I leave in the knowledge that I will be the dedicated celebrant I know I can be and I will be offering the service that I so believe everyone deserves at the end of their life. Thank you. ‘ Tracey Reeves - Nov 14

The presentation of all course material; was excellent and extensive, as were the business details prepared for us. The tutors were excellent. Thank you for a very interesting week. Michelle Hart - Oct 2014


Excellent course - very enjoyable despite the hard work! Tutors excellent and very supportive throughout. Thank you all for a great experience and opportunity to meet some great people during the week. Sharon wines - Oct 2014


"Very thorough and exceptional dedication from instructions, challenging in a good way. Great content that will be used over and over. Built my confidence". Roger Coutu - Oct 2014

"The course was fantastic. I feel very confident about delivering a funeral, much more than I did previously.  I also feel I am in safe hands as on going support has been offered by Anne Barber & Civil Ceremonies. All your tutors were very supportive, understanding and always accessible. The team are wonderful and the course flowed for me, even though intense, it was enjoyable.

The knowledge I have gained is incredible and I feel much more confident now. They are small words but thank you all so very much." Simone Donohue - Oct 2014


‘Whole thing – Fantastic! Can’t wait to get going!’


"Very comfortable venue, food superb and ideal being quiet and relaxed. Really enjoyable course, full of excellent content and run by professional people who knew their subject and most importantly know how to communicate the information and make it fun.  Would recommend it thoroughly!" John Culling - Feb 2014

"It would be hard to improve on this course. Everything was so thoroughly covered, and well thought out. I would thoroughly recommend that course."  Amanda Grant - Nov 2013


"The course exceeded my expectations in every way – the setting is spectacular, a peaceful ambience conducive to learning. The subject itself is so fascinating. A fully comprehensive, practical course. I was so impressed by the quality, dedication and passion of the tutors, their enthusasium was infectious! I feel inspired to fully embrace this challenging but rewarding career and have been given the knowledge and confidence to do so by this demanding but yet so enjoyable course. A life changing experience."  - Chris Vaughan - Nov 2013


"I was very impressed with the whole course, from the first telephone call and email to the completion of the course. The tutors were very encouraging, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, they wanted us to succeed and learn.  The whole week was well planned and delivered. It was an intense and pressurised learning week, resulting in absorbing information and gaining confidence to practice as a funeral celebrant to the highest standard possible."  - Rami Seth - Sept 2013


"I found the entire course excellent, well planned with plenty of thought gone into it. First class tutors, always approachable and very helpful. Packed with lots of useful information, tips and advice as well as instruction. It is very clear that a lot of effort goes into keeping it up to date and informative. Very enjoyable even though it’s hard work.  I would  highly recommend anyone to do this course if looking to become a celebrant."  - Margaret George - Apr 2013


"Thank you so much for the course, I had heard good things about your funeral celebrant course, but was really pleased at the high level of training that took place.

I really enjoyed the practical side of the course. It proved to me that I could hack the work. The delivery at the crematorium was particularly valuable and was a big confidence boost. The input on marketing was the icing on the cake !

I know now that I have the confidence, skills and ability to deliver a first class funeral ceremony in the near future. Thank you again for making this possible".  Chris Price - Feb 2013


"I have to say the cost of the course was and is the best £2000 I ever invested.  I have been on many courses over the years but this was the most memorable and professional and informative!!. It was a superb confidence booster for me."


"This is truly an amazing course. I’ve never done anything like it before in my life and it is a long long time since I was challenged as much as I have been this week. I have met some really talented, clever people and it has been an absolute joy to listen to all the tutors talking, leading and giving feedback. I think it is a quality course and I’m very pleased that I chose it"


"The course is money well spent! All the information we have been given is going to be invaluable to us in the next few months. It has also been incredibly inspiring to meet people who are working towards such an improvement in the world of funerals. Thank you very very much!". 


"The venue is absolutely fantastic, clean, warm, comfy beds and lovely home cooked food with puddings! Couldn’t have asked for more. It has been a privilege to stay here."  May 2012


"An absolutely brilliant course - thought provoking and extremely practical. I feel it has equipped me to go out there and get going! I really appreciated the openness and support of all the tutors who were so approachable, helpful and supportive. Thank you so much!" May 2012


"The supportive material package provided is a great asset and much appreciated."  May 2012


"A friend of mine asked me if I would do a funeral for their brother but I declined, as I had not been trained.  This led to my attending what I can only describe as a disastrous funeral which left the chief mourner, a very close friend of mine, distraught.

That is when I decided to be trained as a Funeral Celebrant.

The training was hard and very thorough and I was delighted less than three weeks after successfully completing the training to be doing my first funeral.

Now, after over 4 years as a Civil Funeral Celebrant I appreciate just how much the training helped me and changed my life.  It is strange to talk about job satisfaction but how else can you describe being able to help people when they are hurting and grieving.

The great honour of being asked to say farewell on behalf of and with the families is priceless.

None of what I have been able to achieve would have been possible without the training I received and any success that I feel or achieve is a reflection on the ability of the trainers who helped me become what I am today."

Geoff Wood - Trained in 2007


"When I booked on the course I was apprehensive, it’s many years since I went on any course and I’d never been on a residential one and would I cope let alone enjoy it! I shouldn’t have worried, it was great. Intensive yes, but it was so well constructed and you were all so friendly and knowledgeable I enjoyed it enormously. Thank you. Our group was good too; it wasn’t long before we all were relaxed with each other.

I was so grateful there were no ‘bonding’ exercises! No getting into huddles and pretending you were shipwrecked and in a lifeboat with no food or water, a candle and a piece of string… you get the picture! Certainly other courses I’ve been on resort to that. Not so Funeral Celebrancy Training! I found all the contributors excellent, the time went so fast and I took comfort from being able to keep my end up in spite of advancing years!" 

Margaret Price - 2009


And some snippets...

"I've really enjoyed studying through the workbook. It's reassuringly comprehensive and made me think about things I'd never even considered before."

"It's really thorough, wonderful training. It's obvious how much effort and care has gone into it... I got so much out of it"

"I think the training was brilliant, and it exceeded my expectations. Well done for keeping interest levels high throughout."

"It was good to be pushed and challenged"

"I enjoyed this training so much. I was apprehensive about attending the residential training, but the content and the tutors were brilliant. I felt totally supported at all times."

"The most challenging but worthwhile 4 days I have ever spent on a course."

"Lovely venue, quiet and peaceful, just right!"

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