Funerals & Memorials

Say farewell with a uniquely personalised ceremony


Funerals & Memorials can be such difficult occasions, so it’s important to work with people who can help guide you sensitively through the process. As an experienced funeral celebrant, I will work closely with you to ensure that the life and wishes of the person who has died are honoured.



Planning a funeral or memorial 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.

Your ceremony will be based on your beliefs and values. It can be secular, spiritual, semi religious, anything you wish it to be. The ceremony can take place anywhere – at a crematorium or cemetery or in another venue of your choice.

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 goodbye in a way that is right for you. I will then lead the ceremony on the day.

When we meet, I’ll listen to what you have to say about the person who has died. We’ll talk about how you’d like to say your final farewell, how you’d like to share your memories and what you’d like to include such as: music, poetry, readings, prayers and hymns.

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 you can choose


I create and conduct the following ceremonies:

Funerals – burial or cremation
Natural burials
Memorials
Scattering or interment of ashes

It’s important to keep in mind that you have plenty of choice about the type of funeral or farewell you hold. I am happy to advise you on the options available. Below is a summary of the different types of farewells I can offer.



Funerals

I will create a funeral ceremony based on your wishes and including whatever music, readings, poetry, blessings or prayers 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.

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.

You may prefer to have a short ceremony at the crematorium or cemetery, perhaps with just close family and friends, followed by a celebration of your loved one’s life at a venue of your choice with no restrictions on time and number of mourners. You may choose to have a memorial ceremony on a more convenient day and time for you and your family and friends including a weekend following a short funeral ceremony or a direct cremation. (See below for more information about memorials.)

Many crematoriums have facilities to livestream the ceremony to those who are unable to attend the ceremony in person. Please check with your funeral director for details.

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.





Natural Burials

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. Natural burial sites are managed ecologically to encourage biodiversity. They are a haven for flora and fauna and provide beautiful settings for family and friends to reflect on the life that has been lived and recall happy times together. Some natural burial sites will permit burials outside working hours and at weekends by arrangement.

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.

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.

Important information if you choose a natural burial:

You can arrange a natural burial through a funeral director or you can make the arrangements yourself. If using a funeral director, make sure they know 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’).

The type of coffin used for a natural burial should be able to degrade naturally. There are a variety of choices including wicker, willow, wool and cardboard and the site you choose will be able to advise you.

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

For more information and to find natural burial grounds close to you, visit the Natural Death Centre website  or call their helpline on 01962 712690.




Tree Planting for a Renewal of Vows Ceremony

Memorials

A memorial ceremony is held to remember the person who has died without their body being present. Memorial ceremonies are often held following a private family funeral or a direct cremation where no mourners attend. It can take the form of a commemoration or celebration of a life lived.

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, in can reflect the personality of the person who has died and be held where and when you choose.

A memorial 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.

A memorial ceremony can be held anywhere – community centre or village hall, hotel function room, a woodland or meadow, your own home or garden, or 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.

Memorials following a direct cremation
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 of Ashes

A scattering or interment (burial) of ashes 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 will help you to create a very special, 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 scattered anywhere, provided you have the landowner’s permission. Crematoriums usually have a memorial garden where ashes can be scattered or you can scatter them in your own garden or at a place with special meaning for your loved one with permission of the landholder.

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

Some cemeteries allow you to bury or scatter the ashes at a family grave but others do not, so it’s important to check.

For easily accessible information on where you can scatter or bury ashes, visit the Beyond Life website.  




Another option is to plan your own funeral or to arrange a living ceremony. If you would like to find out more about this, visit my Planning your own funeral page.


How it Works

  • If you’re considering working with me on a funeral or memorial ceremony, the first step is to contact me for a chat about your wishes and requirements. You can contact me directly or ask your funeral director to contact me.
  • If you decide to go ahead and book me then the next step is for us to meet in person to plan the ceremony. We will 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.

Get in touch to find out more:

Telephone: 07484 235561
Email: amledson@btinternet.com


Fees & Processes


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.)

Scattering or Interment 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.)

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

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





Thank you so much for your excellent presentation, everyone I have spoken to all complimented you. At the start of the service there was a lot of charged emotion, as you started your presentation, people were visibly listening, and their emotional state started to improve. By the end of the service, people were smiling. People mentioned to me they had learnt a lot about Bryan. Once again, a big hearty thank you, you helped the H family and friends through a difficult day.

Mike H



Bereavement Support

CRUSE – The Cruse Bereavement Care freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. For more information visit cruse.org.uk or call the helpline on 0800 808 1677.

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 visit griefchat.co.uk or call 01524 889 823.

Leeds Bereavement Forum – For help to find the right support in the Leeds area, visit the Leeds Bereavement Forum Directory of Services or call 0113 225 3975.