Farewells – Funerals, Memorials and more

Say farewell with a uniquely personalised ceremony

I create and conduct the following ceremonies

  • Funeral – Burial or Cremation
  • Natural Burial
  • A Memorial
  • A Memorial after a direct cremation
  • Scattering or Interment of Ashes

See below for details of each type of ceremony

Everyone is unique and a funeral ceremony can reflect this by focusing on the person who has died and their family and friends rather than following a set format or standard service. You will choose what you wish to include and how you would like to say your final farewell. Your ceremony will be based on your beliefs and values it can be secular, religious or semi religious including a religious reading, a prayer or a hymn.

At this very difficult time for you I will guide you through planning the ceremony. I can help you to create your own distinctive and meaningful ceremony celebrating the life of the person who has died, acknowledging the grief of family and friends and providing a chance to say a final farewell with dignity and respect. I will then lead the ceremony on the day.

When we meet I will listen to what you have to say about the person who has died. We will talk about how you wish to recall the life that has been lived, for example:

Poetry, music and readings (religious prayers, readings and hymns can be included)

**A tribute or eulogy telling the story of the person’s life **Memories of family and friends

I will then create a very personalised ceremony for you. I will liaise with your funeral director and others involved in the arrangements to make sure that the ceremony is just what you wish it to be.

Different types of farewells that you can choose


I will create a funeral ceremony based on your wishes and including whatever music, readings, poetry including religious readings prayers and music you choose. Whether you decide on a burial or a cremation the ceremony will be fully personalised celebrating your loved one’s life and reflecting your loss with dignity and respect at all times.

You can make the arrangements for a funeral or cremation yourself or organise it through a funeral director who will make all the practical arrangements for a cremation or burial.

Most crematoriums and cemetery ceremonies take place during working hours on weekdays. Each crematorium will have a set length of time for the ceremony that usually ranges between 20 and 30 minutes. Your funeral director will be able to advise you about this.

Most crematoriums have facilities to livestream the ceremony to family who are unable to attend the ceremony in person, please check with your funeral director.

Natural Burials

You can have a celebrant led funeral ceremony at Rufforth and Knapton Natural Burial Site near York

Natural burials offer an environmentally friendly, cost effective alternative to traditional funerals. There are beautiful natural burial sites across the country providing an informal nature rich environment to lay your loved one to rest. Some natural burial sites will permit burials outside working hours and at weekends by arrangement.

Rufforth and Knapton Natural Burial Site near York Tel 01904 735751

I can help you to create a very special ceremony celebrating the life of your loved one, providing an opportunity for you to say goodbye in your own way with readings, poetry or prayers. You can lay your loved one to rest with dignity and respect in the peaceful setting of a natural burial site.

There are various reasons for choosing a natural burial, some people wish to be laid to rest in a peaceful countryside setting, a wildflower meadow or a woodland. Others choose a natural burial because they are conscious of the environmental impact of other forms of burial or cremation.

Natural burial sites are managed ecologically to maintain the site encouraging biodiversity, a haven for flora and fauna. They provide beautiful settings for family and friends to reflect on the live that has been lived and recall happy times together.

Important information if you choose a natural burial – Make sure your funeral director knows at the earliest opportunity that you would like a natural burial because embalmed bodies can’t be buried at natural burial sites. (Embalming is often referred to as ‘hygienic treatment’).

Many natural burial sites also provide space for the scattering or burial of ashes in eco-friendly caskets.

You can arrange a natural burial through a Funeral Director or you can make the arrangements yourself

Coffin Options

The type of coffin used for a natural burial should be able to degrade naturally, there are a variety of choices and the site you choose will be able to advise you.

Wicker coffin decorated with flowers or Paint your own cardboard Coffin – Last Wishes Funerals, York

For more information and to find out where there are Natural Burial grounds close to you please go to the Natural Death Centre website www.naturaldeath.org.uk or you can call their helpline on 01962 712690

Memorials including those following direct cremation

A Memorial Ceremony is a ceremony held to remember the person who has died without their body being present. Memorial ceremonies are often held following a private family funeral or following a direct cremation where no mourners attend.

A celebrant led Memorial Ceremony will be sincere and meaningful.

I can help you to create a uniquely personalised ceremony that is sincere and meaningful.

I will create a memorial service according to your wishes, where your family and friends come together to celebrate the life of the person who has died, express their grief and share their memories.

Your ceremony can be secular, religious or semi-religious, it allows you to remember the person who has died in your own way, where and when you choose.

This ceremony can take place at any time, you can choose a time that’s right for you, your family and friends including an evening or a weekend. You can decide how long the ceremony will be, you aren’t limited to crematorium or cemetery time limits

Hold your memorial ceremony anywhere, for example in a village hall

A memorial ceremony can be held anywhere Community centre or Village hall Hotel function room A woodland or meadow Your own home or garden A place special to the person who has died It’s your choice

A memorial ceremony can be a useful choice when family members live a long way away and are unable to travel close to the date of death. It can also be more convenient if you expect a large number of people to attend because a suitably sized venue can be chosen.

A memorial ceremony can also be a less expensive option if it follows a direct cremation which is cheaper than a traditional one. You can choose a venue within your price range or it can take place at your own home or in your garden

Scattering or Interment (Burial) of Ashes

I will help you to create a very special ceremony

The ceremony can be as formal or as informal as you wish. It can include readings or poems, including religious readings, perhaps something that was read at the funeral.

I can create a personalised ceremony to make this often difficult event truly meaningful whether you decide to scatter your loved one’s ashes or bury them .

Ashes may be scattering anywhere provided you have the landowner’s permission. Crematoriums usually have a memorial garden where ashes can be scattered. Some cemeteries allow the scattering of ashes on a family grave but others do not, it is important to check.

Burial or Interment of ashes often take place at a cemetery, burial ground or natural burial ground however you can also bury the urn in your garden.

For easily accessible information on where you can scatter or bury ashes https://beyond.life/help-centre/arranging-a-funeral/laws-regulations-on-scattering-ashes-in-the-uk/

If you wish to plan your own funeral or to arrange a living ceremony please click HERE


Thank you, Anne-Marie, for making B’s funeral the wonderful celebration of his life that it was. A great comfort to me, the boys and B’s family. Thank you so much. Fiona S

I was very impressed with the style and content of the Crematorium service and the delivery of it by Anne-Marie was superb, a truly professional homage to B’s life. I had never been to a crematorium service without hymns before and I found it very refreshing indeed, so much so that I think I might steal the format for my own service! What a send-off B got! Jon

We would like to thank you for such a lovely ceremony.  Everyone was so impressed what a lovely send off for John. Thank you again.       Ginny 

Thank you for all your efforts in today’s funeral. I think Heidi’s hug said it all and I am really pleased that she was happy with everything. Jane and I agreed you projected yourself clearly, confidently and held a safe space in the chapel for the family. Thank you again for the level of detail in the scripted service which was very reassuring. Full Circle Funerals

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of myself, my family and all who attended Margaret’s funeral. Everyone has commented on what a beautiful service and reading that you provided. A lot of them said it really brought back many happy memories of when Margaret was a younger and healthier young lady, because that’s what she was a lady. Once again thank you for a lovely service. Les F

Thank you so much for the copy of mum’s Celebration of Life Ceremony, it is beautifully presented and I will treasure it. We were so pleased with the service and we will always be grateful to you for all your hard work and attention to detail making sure all the family’s memories were included, it made it very special. V Reid

Thankyou so very much for the beautiful folder and script of the celebration of life, it is  something  we will treasure. The eulogy was a perfect picture of Pat and her life and put together in a way that included all our thoughts and memories and for that we also thank you. 
Family and friends who watched the Service online all said how they felt it was a lovely gentle way to say farewell to a lovely lady who will be sadly missed. J & K Walker

Thank you so much for the lovely service you gave yesterday.  Our son, together with several relatives and friends of mum were able to watch live yesterday. They  have all said how special it was and how much they enjoyed it.  It means a lot to us to feel that mum had such a good send off. Val and John

I just wanted to say thank you for all you did today and in the build up. You really did my mum proud and made it very special for all of us. I know she would have loved it. I also really appreciate all the preparation you did too. You obviously put a lot of time and effort and also care into everything and words cannot describe how grateful I am that you were there to see mum off. David R

Anne-Marie worked with my nana over the last couple of years to plan and arrange her funeral for when the time came. Unfortunately the time came during the year of covid so with restrictions in place Anne-Marie adapted the plans to ensure as many as nana’s wishes were delivered. She met us at York crematorium and was sensitive, caring and a true professional. She delivered a beautiful service that whilst sad was enjoyable and very reflective of who my nana was. I couldn’t think of anyone better for the job of a celebrant and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Anne-Marie to anyone wanting to celebrate the end of a life, the start of a life or a marriage. Thank you Anne-Marie Claudia R

Thank you for making such a difficult day more bearable not only with your professionalism but heartfelt and sincere words. You summed up my mum, Norma, perfectly. She was a tour de force of that there is no doubt!  but was also our mum and you saw that side of her too. Katie T

Absolutely amazing. I lost my Dad and asked if Anne-Marie would conduct the ceremony at the graveside. She went above and beyond and made my Dads send off the best she could. I Couldn’t fault anything. And for that I’m so grateful. Everyone that attended the ceremony said how beautifully conducted it was. Would 100% recommend Anne-Marie. Andrea

From the first phone call with Anne-Marie to enquire about conducting our father’s funeral she put us at our ease and gave us confidence that the ceremony would be in capable and secure hands. Prior to the funeral itself, we had two lengthy meetings which enabled Anne-Marie to familiarize herself with our father’s character and the timeline of his long life. There followed regular email communication which ensured that on the day of the funeral proceedings ran efficiently and smoothly. Anne- Marie’s advice, attention to detail and professionalism helped us put together a very personal ceremony which was appreciated by family and friends alike and which did our father proud. Thank you. Alison and Jane

Thank you for everything you have done, it means a lot to me and my family. Even down to taking the time to get to know us and understanding things about us. Your compassion is so appreciated at a time so scary and upsetting for me, made more bearable by such a lovely caring kind person. Words sometimes do not seem enough but thank you so much, a beautiful service for my Esi-Belle. Dionne and family

Words alone cannot convey how very grateful we are for the beautiful service you created for my mum. You were so kind and thoughtful and receiving a copy of the service was very special. So many of our friends and family commented on how genuine and ‘real’ the service was – so a huge Thank-You from us all. Lisa, Patrick, Alice, Thomas, Peter, Rachel and Lewis

Thank you so much for your wonderful presence and memories of Robert. You were perfect. HB

Anne Marie is a lovely lady; an articulate and well-organised celebrant who gives 100% to her ceremonies. She writes very well and speaks with great warmth and sincerity. Her writing is individually tailored to each couple, giving an unforgettable ceremony. Judy M

Anne Marie Ledson can be trusted 100% to provide an empathic, experienced and professional service whatever the occasion. Anna S

The service I provide and my fees

Whatever type of ceremony you choose:

  • We will meet you to discuss how you wish to recall the life that has been lived and how you wish to say your final farewell with dignity and respect.
  • I will then create a very personalised ceremony for you, including a tribute or eulogy if you wish. You will be able to check the ceremony content in advance.
  • Following our meeting I will be available by telephone and email to discuss the ceremony.
  • I will lead the ceremony on the day and I will send you a commemorative copy after the ceremony for you to keep.

Fees for Funerals, Natural Burials and Memorials   £180 Fees for Funerals and Natural Burials are normally paid through your Funeral Director if you have one, otherwise I will provide details of how you can pay me directly in advance of the ceremony.

Fees for Scattering or Interment (Burial) of Ashes £90 (No charge if I conducted the funeral, unless the ceremony takes place more than 30 miles away when mileage will be charged)

For Memorial or Scattering/Interment of Ashes Ceremonies following a COVID -19 restricted funeral ceremony there will be a 10% discount on my feesfree if I conducted the funeral

(Additional mileage charges apply for ceremonies more than 30 miles radius from Wetherby, West Yorkshire – If overnight accommodation is required close to the ceremony venue this will charged at cost following discussion with you)

You can contact me directly or ask your funeral director to contact me.

Telephone: 07484 235561  Email:  amledson@btinternet.com

Support for Bereaved People

CRUSE – The Cruse Bereavement Care freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. Helpline 0800 808 1677  Open Mon 9.30 – 5pm; Tues -Thurs 9.30 – 8pm; Fri 9.30 – 5pm For more information https://www.cruse.org.uk/

Grief Chat – If you would like some free support related to your bereavement Grief Chat provides emotional support, access to trained bereavement counsellors and referral to other specialised bereavement services. For more information about Grief Chat please go to: https://www.griefchat.co.uk available 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday FREE to all bereaved people.

Leeds Bereavement Forum For help to find the right support in the Leeds area. http://lbforum.org.uk/about/ Tel: 0113 225 3975 Directory of Services link      http://lbforum.org.uk/services/