I live near Stamford in Lincolnshire with my husband of over 40 years. I have two grown up daughters and a beautiful little granddaughter. I am available to conduct weddings, partnerships and namings in Lincolnshire, Rutland, and surrounding counties.
Why I am a Celebrant
I decided to train as a celebrant after attending two wonderful humanist weddings, and my little granddaughter’s lovely naming ceremony. They were so much more personal and meaningful than any church wedding or christening I had ever been to and I felt that creating and delivering bespoke ceremonies was something I would enjoy and do well.
I have been working as a humanist celebrant, performing weddings and baby namings since 2003. I first came into contact properly with humanism (having vaguely been aware of it but not sure what it was all about) in 2000 when my (now) husband and I decided to marry. Though neither of us is religious we wanted something more than a civil service, something that was meaningful and personal to us, celebratory and positive. I contacted the BHA who put me in touch with a lovely celebrant. Six months later, she conducted a ceremony that could not have been more perfect. Many of those who were there that day said it was the best wedding they had ever been to, including their own! It certainly allowed us to say everything we felt about one another and all those who had come to join us.
Two years later and we were on the lookout for a ceremony again, this time to mark the birth and naming of our daughter. With such positive memories of our wedding it was an easy decision to contact the BHA again. The naming ceremony was another success, allowing us to welcome her to the world in a loving and personal way. Now she has grown up and loves to read the script of her ceremony, and the promises and commitments we made to her that day. I decided then that I wanted humanism to be a bigger part of my life. And three years later, as a BHA accredited celebrant, I wrote the naming ceremony for our second daughter.
I think most non-religious people are humanists if they but knew it and it’s great to talk to people about humanism and its philosophy. I’m often told at the start of a ceremony that there may be some in the ‘audience’ who are quite hostile to the idea of a humanist ceremony — believing that the only proper ceremony is a religious one. Invariably, they are the people who come to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed it. Some assume that because a ceremony is non-religious it is about being negative, being ‘not something’. This could not be further from the truth. Humanist ceremonies are life-affirming and spiritual, yes spiritual, occasions. Each one is unique and individual to those taking part and reflects their lives, beliefs and relationships.
I enjoy all aspects of being a celebrant — meeting people, writing the ceremony, and conducting the ceremony itself. It is an immense honour and privilege to play such an important role on someone’s special day and to be allowed into their lives at these life-changing moments. I work hard to make sure that each ceremony is right for the couple or family concerned and nothing makes me happier than knowing that I have done a good job for them.
When I’m not being a celebrant I’m still working with words, running a business as a freelance editor/writer and trying to complete my first novel, all inbetween doing the school run!
If you are thinking about having a humanist wedding or naming ceremony, or just want to talk about humanism, then do give me a call.
I live in Doncaster and in the course of my working life I have had a variety of jobs within the financial network, most of the latter part spent in business development, managing and training staff. This has helped me develop the confidence to stand up in front of a group of people and lead them through the most important occasions in their life, but so far, nothing beats the reward and satisfaction I get from my work as a Humanist celebrant!
I discovered the British Humanist Association in 2010 and was delighted to find an organisation which could represent those who had no religion. I learnt about humanist ceremonies at my fathers funeral which seemed a way of practicing humanism that could make a contribution to society. This led me to explore the possibility of joining the network and as a result I am now a humanist celebrant, accredited by the British Humanist Association in Weddings, Partnerships and Naming ceremonies. To compliment my work as a celebrant, I joined the staff at the British Humanist Association in 2012, as Ceremonies Training Coordinator.
What I love most about my role is the magic of creating a ceremony out of the experiences and stories told to me by you, whether you are an engaged couple or new parents. My first meeting with you is crucial for listening to your thoughts, ideas and feelings; only then do I begin to write a draft ceremony. My job is to turn all the information you tell me into a unique and personal ceremony for you. My approach is to work alongside you and support you to have a truly memorable occasion.
I can advise on poems, music and readings and suggest ideas for making a ceremony unique and help you and your guests to take part should you choose to do so.
Whilst the primary geographical area of my coverage would be South Yorkshire, North Nottingham and North Lincolnshire I would be happy to consider conducting ceremonies anywhere in the UK and be willing to travel abroad if it is practical.
Janice Castings — available 7 days a week
Phone: 00 44 (0)1302 782 902
Mobile: 00 44 (0)7876 732 835
Email: [email protected]
Hello I’m Doug, I’m a humanist celebrant based in Lincoln and I conduct ceremonies throughout the East Midlands. I also spend time in the South of Italy where I know the culture very well and sometimes do humanist services too.
I’ve done lots of different jobs in my life including gravedigger, customs officer, accountant, actor and teacher of English and I’ve travelled widely in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. I’ve never believed in a god, it’s just not in me, but I don’t have a problem with people that do.