Training Feedback from Funeral Celebrants

Distance Learning Feedback


‘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

A wonderful course! I can’t believe how supportive, interested and kind everyone has been in Civil Ceremonies. Intuitive and understanding feedback every time. Organised, interesting and highly informative material. The course worked like clock-work and everyone seems so engaged and really loved what they were doing. Angie Phillips - June 19


I have really enjoyed my week. Trainers and assessors very professional and helpful. Leaving with bucket loads of very useful literature and booklets. A very worthwhile course for me. Sue Bury - April 19


I literally cannot think of anything to suggest to improve this course – the venue was perfect, all the facilities needed, very helpful staff, wonderful food. The course content was challenging at times, working to tight deadlines, but I feel I am leaving with all the skills I need to grow in to the celebrant that I want to become. It is also good to know that Civil Ceremonies will be there in a supportive role.’ Hilary Bolton - April 19


'I gave my first funeral service on Friday, it went really well (I think) and I just want to thank everyone at Civil Ceremonies for all your help and support in getting me to this point!

I only had a week from being asked to give the service until the day it was happening as the FD was let down (or some complication) by the original celebrant they had hoped to use. So it was all very last minute with changes going on literally the evening before. But I thought back so many times to the absolutely brilliant training the tutors gave us, and the amazing amount of support from you and from your office - and it all worked! I had my course manuals and notes permanently on my dining table for the week, I used the tape recorder on my iphone to listen to what I was saying and how it came across, not to mention pre-timing every bit of the service - and it all worked!

Thank you again, I really appreciate the amazing training and care you have all shown. Jo Adam - Feb 19


What a fantastic week. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute, though some were slightly more nerve-wracking than others! So many tips, so much help. How hard you must work to collate all the information and put it together in a coherent, seamless week. I cannot imagine attempting to deliver a funeral ceremony without this wealth of knowledge behind me. It is slowly starting to sink in. Usually when I drive anywhere I listen to the radio, but on Friday I drove the two and half hours in complete silence - just thinking. The venue was fantastic, so friendly and welcoming. Today (Sunday) I am going to quietly go through all my notes and the mass of information you gave us so I can find what I’m looking for. I am excited to get going and I am ready for the challenges ahead.  With many many thanks - Alison Griffin Feb 19


Brilliant course! Absolutely necessary to do funeral celebrancy. Can’t imagine doing this work without doing this training. Extremely well organised! It was like a well oiled machine, every part planned perfectly. Excellent quality teaching. I learned so much. Intense but well worth the hard work. I wish you were running the country! - Alice Cullingworth Feb 19


I wanted to thank you properly for the training I had in December! I led my first funeral yesterday. After five days of practise (all videoed, watched and analysed!) I was calm and dignified.  I was very proud to speak to family members afterwards and accept their thanks for such a lovely ceremony, I also had the most amazing email last night thanking me.

I could not have done this or been so comfortable with everything, if it wasn't for your training.  Thank you.  So much of what was involved became instinctive because you and your team taught us so well.  I was very grateful yesterday.  I would also like to thank you for being on the end of the telephone when I've needed advice, and for checking my first ceremony script at very short notice, and very quickly.  I had made a commitment to the family and you dropped everything to support me.  I remember you said on the course that you don't go away... you surely don't!  Thank you so much. - Trained Dec 18


I've been on lots of courses and never found one as thorough and reassuring and at the same time as stretching and demanding as this one. Rose Oram - Nov 18


Today I wasn’t really looking forward to the service I was doing.  You know those families who you feel you didn’t really ‘click’ with?  Now it’s a different kettle of fish!!  Every single member of the congregation shook my hand and said “That was a lovely service”.  One chap said “You are the best Funeral Celebrant I have seen and heard”.  The family also said how much they appreciated all my hard work.  I know that it is all down to the training we received from Civil Ceremonies.  Thank you  Anne, it was such a brilliant course and I’ve never looked back since I took my first Ceremony.


‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the training last year.  I am so busy at the moment with funerals and absolutely loving it.  The training you all gave made it easy to go out and do a professional job with confidence.  I have received so many lovely comments from my clients.

I am so happy with what I am doing and just had to say a big thank you to you and the team.’ Fiona Walker - July 18


'Having completed the course last week I used all we had been taught in putting the ceremonies together and have had amazing feedback! Two funeral directors have made me their favoured celebrant, the regular crem chapel attendant has asked for a pile of my cards to give to who ever asks him for advice on who to take their service - he says he is asked a lot. To top it all, the family today were so delighted they have passed on an extra payment for me to the funeral director as they reckon my fee isn’t high enough ... unbelievable.

So thank you for transforming the way I do funerals!' Nigel Evans July 2018 (was already practicing as a celebrant)


Part of my ‘introduction’ to new clients/funeral directors often involves telling people about your training course, how invaluable it was to have so much experience and genuine commitment to guide us... it was fantastic! Clair O Reilly - Ireland


I just wanted to drop you an email to let you know that I conducted my first funeral last Friday. The family were lovely and the funeral was very well received by those who attended (over 150 according to crematorium staff).  I've since met the family again earlier this week and took the opportunity to let them know, after the event, that it had been my first funeral - they were gobsmacked!  It took me almost half an hour to convince them that I was telling the truth.  

Apparently, I conducted myself in such a professional and confident manner they thought I'd been conducting funerals for years.  To say I was a "wee bit proud" of myself would be an understatement! Thank you for all your help and feedback during my training.  My being "professional and confident" is owed in no small part to the training I received in May - I took so much from it. - Susan Maitland - May 18

I just wanted to say "thank you" for the excellent training I received from Civil Ceremonies. I performed my first funeral today, a real test since it was someone I knew.  I was the trainee who said I would never do a funeral for a friend, but it was a testament to the confidence your organisation instilled that I got through it with composure, (not to say relief!). Family very pleased and the funeral director has indicated he will use me again.  He was very complimentary. Jacqueline Barr - April 18


I just wanted to say right here, right now, whilst I have it on the top of my 'to do' list, that the course was absolutely amazing. In short I don't think I have ever attended a training that was so carefully planned, efficiently executed and delivered with such support and attention to detail.  You set the bar very high - all of you! Sally Elias - May 18 


‘I write this on our final morning before breakfast. This week has been so busy! It has also been a very rewarding week and, if successful in passing, has the potential to have been a life changing week. The course is definitely like a jigsaw. You get the unopened box on the first afternoon. By the second afternoon the box is open and the pieces seem to be all over the floor! Slowly you put some together, only to be given more, then more pieces each day. Slowly all the pieces come together and suddenly it starts to feel like you are getting somewhere. This week has been hard work but fun and I have learned a lot.

I am now reflecting on the last week, and the whole package of the course. The telephone conversations initially, then the application process, the distance learning, study and hard work. I feel that what I have done and achieved is something special and that makes me proud. It has definitely make an impact and a difference to my life. In turn, and in time, the benefit of the training will help me to make and impact and difference to the lives of bereaved people. Thank you.’ Ian Keal - March 2018


‘Thank you for creating this wonderful training. I was delighted to attend and really appreciate all that you taught and I have learned. The tutors were great to meet and learn from also.’ Giliosa Keirnan - March 2018


Anne had pre-warned us that the whole course was ‘full-on’ so we shouldn’t be surprised that it actually was! The group sessions are a vital element, the exercises helped to bond the group and the effect on each one of us was that it added confidence. I feel that how this course has been put together and delivered, plus the tutors for the different sections, delivered a totally comprehansive training. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to train in this field. Thank you to all involved.’ Diane Bell - March 2018


‘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