Charles Cowling
  Posted by John Porter I think a personal reflective piece is in order following my delivery yesterday of my first fee-paying funeral ceremony as a recently qualified Funeral Celebrant. I will not forget it for several reasons. The first reason is that I was sunning myself beside a swimming pool
Charles Cowling
  Posted by John Porter Strangeways prison, Manchester 1982, pre riot. I was a student on placement and during my first week asked an officer what the red and white cards meant outside each cell. “White means CofE and red is for ‘left-footers’ – Catholic.”  Nothing for Jewish, Muslim, Sikh or any other
Charles Cowling
  Guest post by John Porter   Anyone who says to me “You have to”, I nearly always reply with “why?” and then “why?” again! The fact is I don’t have to do anything. I can choose whether to or not – that’s different. “Not so,” I hear some say,
Charles Cowling
  What an interesting debate that was, the one about whether undertakers and celebrants should charge for the funerals of children. A great many people followed it silently; the 25 comments represent a tiny fraction of the overall readership. The debate was not conducted on a level of dispassionate logic, so
Charles Cowling
  A flurry of forwarded emails flies into our inbox. “What do you think of this?!?” they all demand. This? The NFFD’s freshly launched celebrant training venture. The consensus is that it stinks. What do we think? Well, let’s have a look. The NFFD’s given reason for entering the celebrant
Charles Cowling
  By celebrant Wendy Coulton of Dragonfly FuneralsThe Plymouth Herald ran a story recently about a family complaint that the funeral service for their relative was disrupted by the loud and distracting sound of laughter and conversation outside by a large number of people waiting to attend the next funeral. They included
Charles Cowling
  Posted by Wendy Coulton Recently I had a dilemma in that a funeral I was planning and conducting was for someone who was known among their close friends for using the expletive C*** (C U Next Tuesday) with affection and as a genuine term of endearment. I winced when I
Charles Cowling
  Over on the Mindfulness and Mortality blog, in a discussion about funeral eulogies, Gloriamundi asks a good question: “Why do we seem to feel the need to sum up a life and pass judgement on it?” He goes on: “The torrent of unqualified praise that falls on someone who
Charles Cowling
  Devonport Guildhall   Devonport’s historic Guildhall is to be offered as a venue for funerals.  Built in 1822, the Grade 1 listed building has, over the years, served as a town hall, magistrates court, library and even a mortuary. It is now a community hub which hosts exhibitions, community group
Charles Cowling
  If there’s one thing that really vexes people in the funerals business it’s the question of who gets paid for what – and how much. Take the business of conducting a funeral. In England, when C of E clergy moved their fee up to £160 + travel, lots of