4 11 Great debate in local paper regarding who may legally officiate at a funeral ceremony and whether the local “clergy” should always be asked where someone states their religion as Church of England, C of E, when asked by the funeral arranger. The difficulty for the funeral director is that most people are no longer regular in their church attendance whilst they would say they believe and want prayers and even hymns sung.
Again with celebrations of relationship the couple don’t see church attendance as central to their lives.
Legally anyone can officiate at a funeral and whilst the registrar or clergy are required for a legal registration of a wedding most people are more pleased with a bespoke ceremony separate from the necessary legalities.
8 5 09 Recent ceremonies conducted on the London Eye - great venue, the ceremony needs to be fairly brief, 30 minutes allowed per “flight”.
September 08 Surprise wedding blessing within sight of St Pauls in central London - great atmosphere and happy gathering - the couple had married in romantic Venice!
5 08 TV documentary company asked us about Living Funerals, apparently popular in the USA - where people are having parties/wakes to celebrate their lives as they approach their last times - to be present and hear the good things said about them. Novel idea?!
1 08 Happy New Year - especially to those planning a ceremony in the coming months
12 06 Wishing all those planning a wedding or baby naming or commitment ceremony in 2007 / 2008 a great Christmas and New Year - remembering at this season those whose Phoenix ceremony has been one for a love one departed
30 11 2006 Prices for 2007 are held at 2006 levels!
29 11 06 Are you thinking of combining a celebration of wedding with a baby naming, contact our designer for how!
31 10 06 Ceremony with Jewish theme, traditional arch, modern promises
3 10 06 Ceremony at The Fosse Manor Hotel, lovely venue - nice touch the children presenting the rings
9 9 06 Renewal of vows after 10 years, nice ceremony, held at the couples home using the garden, plenty of entertainment for the young ones on the trampoline, adaptation of Eileen Rafter’s reading - very enjoyable
8 06 New celebrant joins the team - Jay Belshaw, lives in Dagenham, newly engaged.
Conducted a ceremony at Jolly’s St Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster today what an amazing hotel!
The newly acquired Piaggio X8 scooter is a must for getting about locally to arrive at ceremonies on time!!!
May 06 attended book launch for Dr Morris Nitsuns “Object of Desire” - referring to a group analysts group. He mentioned the timing of publishing in the same year as Civil Partnerships being legalized -his book challenges some of the pathologizing of sexual diversity inherent in the Therapy world
11 05 The London Partnership Register is to close in December! This comes with the advent of Civil Partnerships being made available to same sex couples at all local registry offices. Phoenix Celebrants are happy to assist you in celebrating your partnership with a bespoke ceremony following the legal registration.
Contact from Joy Croft, who trained as a unitarian minister, now working in Scotland offering ceremonies for all occasions and to all! Have put a link on our Link page
22/4/05 Giving a wedding blessing ceremony at Turkey Mill, Kent - lovely location, especially if you like out door settings
A love story for Valentines Day 05 - met a man today who is saying goodbye to his wife of 50 years. She had dementia for the past several years - however he cared for her enabling her to remain at home to a few days from the end. In the hospital the nurses failed in all their attempts to give her medication - but for her Bill she dutifully swallowed the pills!
Dec 24th 04 - just made contact again with Maggy Whitehouse who was web master of BBC’s 360 site - she offers spiritual funeral ceremonies in the Midlands, go to www.spiritualfunerals.com
Oct 22nd 2004
Conducted funeral for RAF 2WW veteran - he’d safely returned from 46 sorties!
Also today a ceremony for a dental technician who requested I point out he’d made the teeth of many present!
16th July 2004
Heard an uplifting story from a mum who is having her baby named - he came along after she had experienced 4 miscarriages! So good for him and the family that his mum and dad kept in good heart and kept trying!!
Re baby naming - here a slice of an e-mail received today.
“Having spent a long time researching Christenings/naming ceremonies and feeling that elements of both suited my beliefs and/or lack of them, I was excited to find your site. My family are not regular church goers, so we don't want to make promises we can not keep, but by the same token, I felt that not being able to make any reference at all to God/ religion in a civil ceremony was not suitable for us either, especially as both our sons names are Biblical names and were chosen for their meanings.”
Conducted a ceremony at a great venue last Saturday, St Georges Parish Hall in Enfield. Good venue for alternative weddings and christenings.
13th May 04
Asked to read the following at a funeral service, thought it apt!
By Richard Eyre, Director, Royal National Theatre
Our parents cast long shadows over our lives.
When we grow up we imagine that we can walk into the sun, ahead of them.
We don’t realize until it’s too late that we have no choice in the matter, they’re always ahead of us.
We carry them within us all our lives, in the shape of our face, the way we walk, the sound of our voice, our skin, our hair, our hands, our heart.
We try all our lives to separate ourselves from them and only when they are passed on do we find that we are.
We grow to expect that our parents, like the weather, will always be with us. Then they are gone, leaving a mark like a hand print on wet glass or a kiss on a rainy day, and with their passing we are no longer children.
1st May - While conducting a ceremony at Butchers Hall in Central London I was impressed by their array of meat cleavers, along with superb examples of the beef these would have carved up. A day or so later I heard a radio broadcast from Butchers Hall giving the results of a competition to cook beef and Yorkshire puddings for St Georges Day!
Entry for 14th April - an idea for a bespoke Naming Ceremony sent in by Dawn M Swanton
I had a flower ceremony during my Daughter's Naming Ceremony. What we did was we bought as many White Carnations (which means friendship) as we had friends who came to the Ceremony. We put a "tag" with a one word description on each of our Friends'(The Support Parents) flowers that was a trait of theirs that we wanted our Daughter to emulate. We placed each flower on our Friends' plate before the Ceremony, as we came to the Flower Ceremony section we asked each Friend (as we called them and their trait) to offer the Flower to Paxton (our Daughter)
Entry for 2nd April 04
Offered space at local venue whose main focus is helping asylum seekers. They invited us to hold our ceremonies there. However we wouldn’t be allowed to conduct same sex weddings and the like. They felt same sex ceremonies “ a step too far for them”!
BBC contacted wanting same sex couples getting spliced in or before August to contact who were prepared to be filmed. Anyone interested, do drop us a line.
Diary for March 03
Contacted by the Essex Evening News regarding Southend Council starting to offer Civil Ceremonies to same sex couples from 1st April 04 - the reporter stated he was broadly in support and wanted information on our ceremonies of this kind. Noted that the trend is that society is in favour. He asked what difference President Bush’s comments on marriage would make. responded that it raises the subject to a national audience. Once people start to examine their own views on the subject public support will hopefully increase
Inquiry from couple married in South Africa wanting a ceremony here. We have also been picked up in New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines
Still waiting the outcome of London Mayor elections that determine whether Partnership Registration continues at City Hall
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