My name is June Hearsey and I am an Independent Funeral Celebrant.

Eight years ago, I began my own business "A Fond Farewell" my background in bereavement spans almost 30 years having worked for Carlisle City Council in Bereavement Services as manager and which covers the crematorium and cemeteries in Richardson Street, Upperby and Stanwix.

I hold a Diploma of the Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management which includes subjects at HNC level in Bereavement and Cemetery and Crematorium Law.

A funeral service is the chance to say farewell to a loved one in a meaningful way and should reflect the individuality and uniqueness of each person. It is my aim and always has been to ensure that I offer a sensitive, respectful and personalised service for all my families at one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Although most of my services are secular or non- religious, I am more than happy to include prayers, hymns and bible readings should the family so wish.


Music can play an important role in the service and can bring back so many memories of happy times spent with your loved ones. I conducted my own dad’s funeral and we sang two of his favourite Nat King Cole songs, as I looked out at his family and friends everyone was smiling as they sang along, remembering how he loved to sing.

I am here to help in any way I can, I can offer guidance and support to ensure you have the funeral service that you want, the choice is yours.

Hello, my name is Veronika Robinson. It would be my honour to be graced with supporting you during your time of grief. The ceremony I create for you is based on your beliefs (and/or those of your loved one). This means I am not constrained by any belief system or motivated by my own.


I’ve officiated all manner of ceremonies, and am as comfortable leading mourners in The Lord’s Prayer as I am with a pagan ritual, angel blessing, or any other expression of deeply held beliefs. Whether you’re looking for a traditional service or something wildly unique, or anywhere in between, I have the skills and experience to meet your wishes.


Determining the nature and feel of a ceremony isn’t as simple as: religious or not religious. Most people have their own hybrid philosophy of life, death, love and living, and as your celebrant I seamlessly weave your beliefs into a ceremony that is enriching, healing and affirming of the relationship you shared with your beloved. I am able to do this because I listen clearly and carefully. At all times, my job is to craft a ceremony which belongs to you. 


I’ve been an independent celebrant since 1995, and have officiated all manner of ceremonies internationally. My intention is to create, write and officiate deeply meaningful, personalised and beautiful ceremonies for every person I am honoured to serve.


Being a funeral celebrant, for me, is a vocation which is founded upon high-level care, compassion, empathy, responsibility and awareness.


Ceremonies, when crafted with skill and love, have the ability to be deeply healing.

My name is Benet Waterman and I am a fully qualified Independent Funeral Celebrant.


As I am not bound by any one particular approach to the funeral, this gives me a freedom in supporting those planning the Funeral Service and helps to ensure that the personal wishes of the person who has passed are fully respected and their life honoured.


Our society continues to grow and change in relation to personal views on matters of faith and death and dying, and increasingly people are looking for ways to 'say their own farewell' in their own way. Indeed, many people now plan their own Funeral Service.


I believe that just as we get only one chance to make a first impression, so we have only one chance to say our final farewell in a sensitive, respectful and personal way and for this reason I am wholly committed to personalised funeral services.


It would be my privilege to support you.

I am Vikki Pounder, an Independent Funeral celebrant.  In 2010 after attending a Grief care course in my local Church, I was given the opportunity to study a funeral course through The Church of Scotland.  Due to other work commitments of running my own shop I did not take any services until 2017 when having no local Ministers to conduct services in the Church I agreed to support the local Funeral Directors. 

Through this I came to understand what a privilege it is to help a family at one of the most difficult times when a loved one dies, and to work closely with them to organise the best and most suitable service whether that be non-religious or have some religious influence.  


Your service for your loved one is extremely important, so I will spend time with you to understand the person who has died, their likes, their family ties, work, hobbies, any little quirks you would be happy to mention, and anything that influenced their lives and your life with them. With this I can work with you to offer guidance and support and ensure you have a service which is relevant to the wishes of you and your loved ones. 


I would be privileged to support you through this most difficult time.

My name is Derek Donaldson and I have been working as an Independent Funeral Celebrant since 2011 having previously worked as both a Funeral Director and then as a Crematorium Technician.


However, it was in 1991 when I officiated at my first funeral service as at that time I was employed by the Methodist Church in Carlisle as a Pastoral Assistant. Since then I have also been employed as a Probation Officer.


Carlisle born and bred, I have lived in the city all my life.


I am happy to take either religious or non-religious services, to meet with the families wishes. 


We only get one chance with a funeral and I do everything I can to ensure that the service meets with everyone's expectations.

Richard Watson is an accredited celebrant with Humanists UK, a national
organisation which maintains a network of celebrants offering unique, personal, non-
religious ceremonies. He is based in Cockermouth and covers the West and North
Cumbria areas.

Richard sees his role as helping people through one of life's most stressful events –
the death of a close friend or family member. He is sensitive, warm, friendly, reliable
and professional.

Prior to taking on this role Richard was a probation officer in Cumbria for nearly 30
years, and also worked as a freelance social worker, assessing people who applied to
be foster carers.

A simple, sincere humanist ceremony is an excellent way to celebrate a life that has
ended. Each ceremony Richard creates is tailored to meet the needs and wishes of
the bereaved family, and is designed to be true to the person who has died.

Although a humanist ceremony is essentially non-religious, humanists recognise that religious influence is embedded in our everyday life and is often appreciated by non-religious people. A hymn may remind someone of their favourite rugby team, for example. In addition, humanist funerals always offer a moment of quiet reflection during which those with a religious faith are invited to say a silent prayer.

My name is Nigel Braun and I am an Independent Funeral Celebrant, living just outside Carlisle and provide Celebrant Services in the Cumbria and Scottish Borders area. As an Independent Funeral Celebrant I am able to provide a beautiful and bespoke alternative to traditional funeral ceremonies, and together we will create something that is truly memorable and comforting on this most important of days.


I became a Funeral Celebrant after planning my mothers funeral with her whilst she was terminally ill, to ensure she had a ceremony that really told her story and celebrated her life.


Each ceremony I conduct is individually written from start to finish, honouring the person who has died, in a dignified and fitting tribute, focusing on everything that made them special and unique. The ceremonies I create are positive and uplifting, because they focus on life and not solely on death.


You may want family and close friends to participate in the service, by means of readings, poems, music or personal tributes. I welcome and encourage those who wish to take part, to express their own sentiments and to say goodbye in the ways that have significance for themselves and all those present.


It would be an honour and privilege to support you.

My name is Glynis Milburn and I am an Independent Funeral Celebrant.

After retiring in 2013 from being a Lay Minister in the Anglican Church, during which I either officiated or assisted at many funerals both in Church and Crematorium,  I was asked by several friends to officiate at their loved ones funerals.  From there Funeral Directors contacted me and I was eventually persuaded to take on the role of an Independent Celebrant.

Saying a final farewell is one of the most traumatic and stressful times in life, I am here to try and take some of that stress away.  I always put myself in the families place and would like to think that I give them the respect, sensitivity and care that I would wish for myself. I meet with the family or whoever is organising the funeral and get to know them and also to find out as much as possible about the person they have loved and have now passed on.  That way I can tailor each funeral as personal and memorable as possible whether it is a Christian or Secular Service, the family’s wishes always come first.

I am only a telephone call away at any time, to offer support, guidance and care, through and after the service. It would be an honour and a privilege for me to assist you through this time.

Dalston Chapel of Rest

16 The Square




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Jill Glencross Independent Funeral Director


Jill Glencross

Independent Funeral Director