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Our Funeral Celebrant Training Tutors

Anne Barber

Anne is Managing Director of Civil Ceremonies Ltd and founder and Honorary President of the Institute of Civil Funerals. Anne created and established Civil Funerals in the UK in 2002 and founded the Institute of Civil Funerals in 2004. Her previous career included the role of New Project Director at Lifecycle Marketing Ltd and Distribution Director with Bounty Services (UK) Ltd. She has been involved in establishing many services with Local Authorities and Registration Districts across the UK, in particular Naming Ceremonies, Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremonies and Commitment Ceremonies as well as Civil Funerals. Anne wrote and published ‘The Complete Guide to Naming Ceremonies’ in 2008. She has established the website and in 2014 she set up the Child Funeral Charity (of which she is a trustee) with industry colleagues. Her qualifications include a BA (Hons) Degree in Business Studies and an MBA.

Jill Maguire – Assessor

Jill MaguireJill has ten years’ experience as a Civil Funeral Celebrant in the Surrey area and was a Founder Member of the Institute of Civil Funerals. She spends much time supporting new local celebrants. Jill’s career has included adult tutoring with Surrey County Council and a lengthy career in Surrey County Council’s registration service, where she fulfilled a variety of different roles including deputy registrar and registrar of births and deaths. Jill has worked with Civil Ceremonies Ltd for many years training celebrants and previously registrars in technical registration procedures. She has conducted hundreds of funerals, marriages and the ceremonies and of course delegates always benefit hugely from her experience.

John Valentine

John has an MSc in social sciences and has published three books. He works in London as a Funeral Celebrant, and since 1995 has conducted almost 2000 funerals. He has been a tutor on the Civil Funerals training course since 2003 and is involved with developing and presenting further ceremonies training. As a practitioner, John is dedicated to creating the most meaningful and effective funeral for each individual client. As a course tutor, he is pleased to be able to pass on some of his skills and experience, and to play a part in ensuring that new Civil Funeral Celebrants can write and deliver ceremonies to the same high standards as their more experienced colleagues.

Janice Thomson – Assessor

Janice ThomsonJanice completed 16 years’ service in the Registration Service of England and Wales as Superintendent Registrar of the London Borough of Barnet and previously in Mid-Bedfordshire. Prior to this she worked as a teacher of English in Grammar Schools and Colleges of Further Education. She has been involved with Civil Funerals since 2002 when the first training course was launched and has conducted many varied funerals in London Crematoria. She joined the Institute of Civil Funerals in 2004 at its inception and since retiring in 2009 has acted as its Secretary and Script Assessor. Janice was also involved in the planning and accreditation stages of the NOCN Diploma Course as the industry expert. Janice is also one of the course assessors for the distance learning element of the training. M.A

Judy Mansfield

Judy MansfieldBefore becoming a Celebrant in 2011, Judy lived and worked in France for 10 years. This was after a 25 year varied career with the Ministry of Defence, which included senior roles in Parliamentary and Legal Departments, briefing Government Ministers and high ranking military officers. Her MOD career also saw her in a training role teaching Effective Speaking and Effective Writing, which took her across the UK and overseas. Her legal and business qualifications were gained following years of study with the Open University. Judy has extensive experience in broadcasting and public speaking. She is a regular contributor on BBC Local Radio with her popular ‘Thought of the Day’ on Sunday mornings, as well as being a guest newspaper reviewer, which she enjoys enormously. She gives presentations to various clubs, groups and schools across the Warwickshire region. In her spare time, Judy goes further afield as a volunteer teacher at a school for deprived children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Nearer home, she is a volunteer cook for a local Night Shelter. Judy has delivered ceremonies throughout the UK and overseas, specialising in destination weddings, and has won many industry awards for her celebrancy. She recently carried out the very first wedding ceremony at The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. As a course tutor, Judy loves meeting the students embarking on their new careers and is enthusiastic and committed to helping them be the very best they can be.

Nicki Hallett

Nicki HallettFor many years Nicki worked as a Palliative Care Nurse Specialist and came to recognise that the farewell after a death should be as important and memorable as the circumstances and care leading up to death. She led a successful, award-winning, training programme for healthcare professionals to develop their knowledge and skills in end of life care. She trained to become a Civil Funeral Celebrant with Civil Ceremonies Ltd and now creates and delivers bespoke, individual and sensitive ceremonies that meet the wishes of her clients. Nicki is passionate about improving the public’s perception and expectations of funerals and making the dialogue surrounding death a normal part of the conversation of life. Nicki is a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals.

Tracy Jones

Tracy JonesFollowing a long career in the Police Service, both as an Officer but also a Control Room Officer, Tracy developed her dynamic communication skills in addition to gaining a diverse experience of life and death as a result of a whole array of challenges the Police Service faced on a daily basis. In 2009 Tracy moved into the professional role of becoming a Ceremony Officer conducting couple and naming ceremonies in and around the Northamptonshire region and across the UK. She was instrumental in developing and shaping new policies and procedures within the Registration Service as well as being utilised as a trainer and mentor for all new Ceremony Officers. In 2014 Tracy completed her training with Civil Ceremonies to become an Independent Civil Celebrant and takes great pride in writing and conducting personal, bespoke funerals, encompassing the wishes of each and every family. Each family is different but the key message is: to never underestimate what they are going through at such a sad time, whilst at the same time encouraging the families to not be frightened to talk about their feelings and their emotions. Being involved in the training of new Civil Celebrants enables Tracy to discuss and pass on her own ‘life’ and ‘role’ experiences within the profession and support students as they begin their own journey. Away from work Tracy is also an Honorary Steward at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships each year.

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        IT Skills you will need both during your training and working as a celebrant

        Do you have the following skills:

        1. Ability in creating, naming, using, saving and retrieving files and folders.
        2. Familiarity with using your version of Word (or similar software).
        3. Understanding of toolbars and icons.
        4. Ability to copy and paste sections of text.
        5. An understanding of ‘track changes’ and how to use this function.
        6. Ability to bold, underline and italicise text.
        7. Be able to change font type, size and colour.
        8. Ability to centre text in the middle of a page and right and left justify it.
        9. Be able to alter line spacing in a document and insert a page break.
        10. Be able to use the undo and redo functions.
        11. Understand how the tab key works.
        12. Ability to use headers and footers, bullet points and numbering
        13. Understanding of the difference between ‘Save’ and ‘Save As’.

        If you said ‘yes’ to all of the above then you have good basic skills.

        If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above then you will need to improve your basic skills before starting the course. This can be done in a few hours by using one or more of the free online tutorials available on the internet.