Hi, I’m Chris Edwards. I’m trained and accredited by the British Humanist Association to lead Weddings, Funerals and Namings. At this point, if I were you, I’d be wondering what’s different about this bloke and why should I use him?’ Well, if you read on I’ll try to tell you about me and what I can offer you.
In the late 60’s I grew my hair and went in search of love and peace. Eight years later I trained and worked as an actor. During this period I met Sarah and, as I was resting rather more than working, I retrained as a mental health social worker. After 15 years of marriage we had our daughter Liv and moved to an idyllic hamlet. I found myself, after twenty-five years, working as a health and social care senior manager and trainer and I’d had enough. So I retired, retrain as a celebrant and here I am at your service.
I’ve known I was an atheist since I was 19 and in a hospital waiting to hear about a friend who was fighting for her life after a car accident. I thought I should pray but knew, as I think I always had, that there was nothing out there to pray to. I’m please to say she survived.
I came upon humanism through the funerals of Sarah’s parents. I learnt more from an old actor friend who’s a celebrant in Brighton. It just seemed to fit. It was how I thought. It was me. The best bit was that I didn’t have to agree with, or believe in the same things, as other humanists. I could just honestly and truthfully be me.
I promise to deliver a fantastic ceremony based on your wishes and needs. Don’t worry I have lots of ideas to help you decide and whether its a marriage, funeral, naming, or any other type of ceremony, you will always see a draft ceremony script before the day. I can then update the script based on your comments so the final words, whilst written by me, are the words you want. I see my role as making the ceremony seamless, so if something unexpected happens I’ll deal with it, if someone forgets their words I’ll have them, if someone doesn’t turn up I’ll fill in. For the time of the ceremony I’ll take control and make sure you have the ceremony that you planned. If you think I can help please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Your ceremony can be traditional or avante garde. You could book a palace or be on the balcony of a flat. We could battle the wind at the top of a mountain, shelter in a cave or the back room of a pub. You could wear flip flops and shorts; clown suites; haute couture or top hat and tails. The choice is yours. And we haven’t even started talking about music, readings, vows, friends and family involvement, the layout of the ceremony, rites of passage, day or night or this country or abroad. All I ask is that it’s non-religious. The day should be a brilliant occasion, but remember, the important issue is what is in your heart and your head. Yes, this is a time for fun and spectacle but it is also a time for gravitas. A marriage should be an intimate and loving relationship which gives both partners’ security, friendship, equality, companionship, respect, support, comfort, and a deep love that penetrates every aspect of life. The ceremony is a statement of intent about the future with vows and promises made. And remember the commitments made are not just for the anniversaries but for the 364 days in between. Your ceremony should reflect all of this and I’ll help you to get it right.
A funeral is a time to remember a life lived. Not a perfect life but a real one. A time to say goodbye in your own way. A time to share your loss with family and friends, a time to reflect on your relationship with the person who has died whether you knew them for a moment, an hour, a year or a lifetime. Whether the ceremony is at the crematorium, burial ground or local pub it should reflect the way the person lived their life and be the ceremony you want. Many people want a traditional ceremony and that’s fine, but if that’s not what you want that’s also fine. I’ll help you create the ceremony you want.
What is more important than giving someone the name the world will know them by and introducing them formally to friends and family. As with marriage the ceremony is a time for fun and spectacle but it is also a time for gravitas. It’s a time to ask the people you value and trust to share the responsibility, whether they are Guide-Parents, or my favourite, Odd-Parents. Its time to involve the family. Whether in your back garden, village hall or hotel the ceremony should reflect your wishes and I’m here to make that happen.
I’m available for any type of ceremony, whether memorial, wake, acting as a master of ceremonies or leading a divorce ceremony [I haven’t done one yet but I live in hope] and I will do my very best to give you the ceremony you want.