Joanna Hawes, Humanist Celebrant
I am an accredited Humanist celebrant based in Cornwall, UK and conduct weddings and funerals anywhere in Cornwall, in Plymouth and West Devon, and abroad.
I was a Staff Nurse for more than 30 years. It was a great preparation for being a celebrant: my experience of listening to patients, understanding their needs and supporting them at difficult times in their lives.
And a nurse’s attention to detail – getting everything exactly right.
My first meeting with a Humanist celebrant was a revelation:
- There was a word – Humanist – for people who thought as I did. I joined my local group.
- And you could have ceremonies for the big events in life that reflect that philosophy.
But the meeting revealed that he was thinking of retiring and was the only BHA celebrant in Cornwall at that time! I had to become a celebrant.
As a celebrant
For me it is the perfect job, enormously satisfying: listening and learning. I revel in how different we all are, our histories, our approach to life’s big events and big emotions; creating a unique ceremony from what I learn; having a major role at events that are so important.
I help my husband in his secondhand bookshop and enjoy the books. I enjoy living in Looe where I can swim in the sea any time I like, walk by the sea and enjoy our steep garden with views over the town and harbour.
Our bookshop is in a converted chapel and we have a wonderful room - book-lined, of course – where I hold ceremonies for those looking for a venue to accommodate up to 40 people, also useful as an alternative to the beach if the weather is too bad. You can glimpse the room in this image, taken during a recent ceremony I was officiating.
How to get in touch with Joanna Hawes: