You probably missed all this and, in truth, had you been aware, you might have either snorted derisively or, like me, mischievously hung on in there for a bit to see what happened next. I’ll tell you the story now. It’s about a bunch of funeral celebrants who went off on one and had to be smacked.
How is the public interest served by making public a silly and ignominious enterprise which did no more harm than cost a few people a few bob, an acre or two of time and a little local damage to their vanity?
The answer is that the bereaved are best served by people with good hearts, good minds and good judgement. Eyebrows have rightly been raised at the spectacle of what some would characterise as an incursion, recently, by funeral celebrants who are not only reckoned second-rate but, also, unhealthily mercenary — those who seem bent on putting the ‘sell’ into celebrancy. Narcissistic windbags intoxicated by the sound of their own voices, some would add. The GFG has, of course, been even-handed and defended those so disparaged.
At the beginning of the year a bunch of celebrants — I’ll spare their blushes by not naming them — took it into their heads that they had received some sort of a licence from the government to form a regulatory body for celebrants, which they called the Association of Regulated Celebrants (ARC):
“ARC has been setup to oversee and regulate the future activities of Celebrants working within the UK. ARC has been accepted by the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, to ultimately become the regulatory body for the Celebrant industry … under the umbrella of ARC, we hope that we can ensure the high standards of working ethics of true professionals within our own organisations, and start to regulate the registration of all working celebrants and the standards of regulating the training of them within that same industry. There can only be one ‘agenda’ and that is working to the regulation of our celebrant industry to the benefits of everybody…. and every organisation benefiting by it.”
Yes, you have to read it twice. Yes, it makes you gasp. To adapt Mr Obama, it is the audacity of… ach, you fill in the missing word.
In response to an enquiry about the veracity of the claims made by the founders of ARC, an official at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills responded on 29 July 2013 as follows:
I have contacted the FOIC to ask about the claims you described and as a result they have taken them off their website. I have also received written assurance from the head of FOIC, who is also a director of the ARC, that these claims will not be repeated by either organisation.
Not with a bang but a whimper, as the expression has it.
All celebrants are, to some degree, tainted by association with this escapade. How ‘good’ celebrants might respond is another matter. You may have an idea what that is.