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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 www.celebrantsupplies.co.uk 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

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.

Ann Adlem

Before becoming a celebrant, Ann was a professional singer and actor, performing in London and all over the world for thirty years.  She has also worked at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia in the performing arts department as a voice coach and lecturer, and she has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Creative Arts.  After training with Civil Ceremonies in 2015, she has become a well-established celebrant in both Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.  Ann believes that funeral services should never be considered ‘one size fits all’, and that creating a service in just the way a family wants, is the most important part of her job, and the most fulfilling.  As a course tutor she enjoys meeting new students and passing on the knowledge and skills she has learned over the past six years in her work as a celebrant. As a member of the council of the Institute of Civil Funerals she is passionate about the ongoing work to promote the value of trained civil celebrants all over the United Kingdom.

Sarah Bertram

Sarah has pursued an eclectic career path; and funeral celebrancy is its third stage. As a professionally trained violinist, she has performed in many ensembles and has also taught. Sarah moved into mainstream primary teaching and pioneered special educational needs work, ran training courses, and held a research post in ‘Barriers to Learning’, all of which she found absorbing.  Her last 10 years were in Special Education – teaching secondary age pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties, and mentoring newly-qualified support assistants and teachers. Each stage has involved additional study and life changes. Sarah is therefore passionate about nurturing students from diverse backgrounds and life experiences as they begin to engage with the demands of their new careers in funeral celebrancy.

Lorraine Inglis

Prior to training with Civil Ceremonies, Lorraine worked as a nurse for over 20 years both in the UK and New Zealand. Having worked as a Specialist Nurse and a Practice Nurse, Lorraine has been privileged to care for some amazing people, who she says have taught her a great deal about human courage and strength. This knowledge and life experience underpins everything she offers as a funeral celebrant, and Lorraine brings true empathy and compassion to her role. She prides herself on working alongside families to create and deliver personal and bespoke ceremonies. Lorraine enjoys her involvement with the training of new funeral celebrants, bringing her life skills and experience to support students during their training. Beyond the classroom Lorraine feels passionately about self-care and co-facilitates online workshop sessions encouraging celebrants to maintain a healthy work life balance, caring for their own mental health and well-being. She is a strong advocate of reflective practice as a means of ongoing learning and informing future practice.

Olivia Burren

Olivia qualified as a celebrant in 2014 and has conducted hundreds of funerals, each of them different. She is passionate about the importance of helping each of her clients to create a service that is right for them and their family. Her training as a solicitor was followed by many years of work in legal services. This has given her a wide range of skills and invaluable life experience and she is keen to pass on her vast knowledge of funerals and the process of creating meaningful farewells.

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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.