Hello I’m Rob Downs, I am a Humanist wedding celebrant. I have lived in wonderful South Devon for 20 years, and I take non-religious and Humanist ceremonies across the South West and beyond. Travelling further afield or abroad can be discussed and arranged if required. I lead ceremonies that have a Humanist philosophy.
Originally from The Midlands I have 3 daughters and have had a varied career, ranging from Scuba Diving and Water sports Instructor to ICT manager for the past 25 years. I get genuine enjoyment by working with people from all walks of life, in a way that sometimes the technical world does not provide.
Despite (or perhaps because of) an interest in religions, I’ve known I was an atheist since I was a child, and like many of us I was a Humanist long before I discovered what the word meant. I would never deny anyone the freedom to have a faith, but put simply for me Humanism is a life stance that acknowledges we can live a good, positive, ethical life without religion or supernatural beliefs. As part of that, I feel it is a true privilege for me to be able to work with people to enable them to mark some of the most important events of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Please email me at: [email protected] Or call me on: 07954 132343
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:
My name is Jackie Watson. Being a Humanist celebrant is a great privilege for me because it means being creatively involved in the most precious events in people’s lives.
As a Humanist, I believe we can make meaning in our lives by living life to the full, by sharing our lives with others, and by giving attention to the natural world. As a celebrant, I want to support people in giving expression to their beliefs and values through their own personal ceremonies.
I have a strong interest in spirituality, and in different religions and cultures, but I believe it’s vital that non-religious people are recognised and valued too. I am also a member of a hospital chaplaincy team, as a Humanist, for the same kinds of reasons.
I retired from teaching in 2014, having spent several years as a religious education teacher in secondary schools and then as a university lecturer in the field of education. I am married and we have two grown-up sons who both live in London.
I am very lucky to live in a village in mid-Devon where I enjoy walking and being close to nature. I also draw and paint a little, but especially love being in my garden. I continue to carry out some academic work and I am an Honorary Fellow with the University of Exeter which is where I originally studied to be an RE teacher.
If you’d like to have a chat about your wedding – whether it’s to be on a farm, in a field, at the beach, or in a hotel or garden – send me an email and we can arrange a time to talk on the phone. If you decide that you’d like me to be your celebrant, we will meet together and design your personal ceremony!
A recent wedding couple said: “Great experience. Jackie was extremely helpful with the planning/design and implemented it wonderfully.”
Please contact me for more information about Humanist funerals and memorials. If you choose me to be your funeral celebrant, I can help you with ideas for music and readings. I will talk with you to find out about the person who has died and arrange a ceremony they could be pleased with and which suits you and your family’s needs.