I live in Stevenage with my wife, Gill. We have two sons, and two lovely grandchildren. I’m an accredited celebrant with the British Humanist Association and qualified to conduct humanist Weddings, funeral, and naming ceremonies. across Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.
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.
My name is Janette Smith and I am pleased to welcome you to my webpage.
I am a humanist and believe that our world is about humans relating to each other in a positive and caring fashion. I am accredited to offer ceremonies for both funerals and weddings.
Although both types of ceremony are different, the key feature that they have in common is that they are uniquely personal. They are also both very relevant ceremonies for both are parts of a ‘rite of passage’ through life and provide a very special service to those I am working with.
Both types of service, a funeral or a wedding, creates an opportunity to provide a ceremony that is both warm and sincere and which is both inclusive and non-religious. Both types of ceremonies can involve readings, poetry, music and a tribute or stories which are important to the family or to the couple.
I am a mother and grandmother and have been been married for over 40 years, so it is true to say that I understand family relationships only too well. I have over 35 years experience of teaching in schools and colleges throughout Hertfordshire. This background also means that I am familiar with communicating and working with all types of individuals and responding to their needs.
During my life, like so many people of my age, I have lost loved ones. When my father died in 1979, his funeral ceremony made no mention of what a great chap he had been and what a good job he had done of being a dad. This omission has very much been my motivation in wanting to deliver funerals which families can remember as a personal tribute to their loved one, shared with all those present.
I chose to train in conducting wedding ceremonies because I believe in helping couples to devise a ceremony which they will remember for all of their life. The right wedding ceremony marks the beginning of life’s next adventure and should be as personal and unique as they would want it to be.
I have been accredited by the British Humanist Association as a celebrant and this allows me to offer a professional and personalised service. Whatever type of ceremony my aim is to visit clients and help them express their ideas, allowing me to translate their thoughts, creating a meaningful outcome, in the form of a bespoke ceremony.
I am happy to travel any reasonable distance from my home in London Colney, St Albans.
You can contact me to discuss your needs or ask any questions on:
Landline: 01727 826921 or mobile: 07970 119876
email: [email protected]