Independent humanist and non-religious funerals in
Newcastle and North-East England
mobile 07960 393785
A few years ago I attended several funerals in a short space of time, either as a mourner, or in my work producing factual film, TV and radio programmes.
Some were wonderful, life-affirming events that left everyone present with a sense of the uniqueness, beauty and fragility of our lives. Others, for whatever reason, failed to connect the people present with the life of the person who had died.
In 2018, I decided I wanted to help families to organise better end of life events - whether traditional or otherwise. I completed a course with Humanists UK, one of the most highly regarded celebrant training organisations in the country.
Since conducting my first funeral service in 2019, I have helped over 400 families, holding services at crematoriums, cemeteries, natural burial grounds or even in houses, back yards and gardens.
More and more people are now realising the many different options available to them when organising a funeral. If you would like to find out more, discuss any aspect of creating a unique ceremony, or need advice on arranging an end of life event, please do get in touch.
If I can help, I will.
WHERE I WORK
I work mostly in Newcastle, North Tyneside,
Northumberland and County Durham.
I'm happy to travel further afield - please just ask.
*Did you know that Tynemouth is one of only 3 places in England licensed for a burial at sea?
WHAT TO EXPECT?
A UNIQUE, MEANINGFUL AND MEMORABLE SERVICE
I specialise in helping families create funeral services which are right for them, recognising the profound moment of saying goodbye, and remembering the life and legacy of the person who has died.
Ceremonies can take place anywhere - indoors or outdoors - from a crematorium to a pub and anywhere in between.
To read more about what a funeral might look like, click here
HOW DOES IT WORK?
No two ceremonies are the same, though most will share common elements, such as tributes, music, readings and time for reflection.
The starting point for creating a ceremony will be to meet with you, your family and friends to discuss options. This is usually done at your home and I will travel to you at a convenient time. We can bring other people to the room via zoom or facetime, and I'm always happy to make further calls to speak to anyone else who might like to contribute.
Following the meeting, I can help you choose music and readings and co-ordinate any tributes from family and friends. I will then draft a ceremony plan and share that with you to check that you are happy with all the content.
HOW DO I WORK?
The short answer to this is that I will adapt to whatever suits you best.
Whether you plan a traditional send-off at a crematorium, or an informal gathering of friends and family in a special place, I help co-ordinate the ceremony. Usually a funeral director will take care of all practical arrangements and I concentrate on crafting the ceremony, in whatever format you choose.
HOW MUCH DO I CHARGE?
If you have already chosen a funeral director who has recommended me, my fee will be included in the cost of the funeral. The funeral director will itemise your costs - then you pay them and they pay me.
With some newer companies, including online Funeral Directors like Farewill you will pay me directly.
In instances where you'd like to consult with me about working directly with you, or for any other bespoke services, we'll have an initial call or meeting and then go from there.
My rate for writing and presenting a complete service begins at £220.
A first phone call is ALWAYS free!
For a full price-list - click here
MORE ABOUT ME
(It really isn't about me - it's all about the person who has died, and the people who want to create the service, but in case you're interested, here goes...)
I grew up in Wolverhampton, then lived in Leeds, northern France and rural Zimbabwe before settling in London for 11 years. Since 2007 I’ve lived in the West End of Newcastle with Ellie and our two children.
Over the past thirty years, I have had many jobs, in many countries. I’ve loaded trucks and worked on building sites. I’ve worked in pubs, restaurants, cafés and bars. I’ve been a teacher, worked for an international charity and then spent about 16 years as a producer of TV, Film and Radio documentaries.
I still do some work in radio and film, and fit that around my work helping families as a funeral celebrant.
I hope that my wide range of experiences and interests, along with well honed story-telling, production and interpersonal skills lead to unique and meaningful funeral ceremonies in both traditional and non-traditional settings for all the people I meet.
"I've been to several 'humanist' funeral services, but none as good as the one you did for Dad. From the moment you called to the end of the service I knew we were in good hands." Ann C
"Thank you Andy for the wonderful service you prepared for Dad. It was perfect in every way and had the right mix of humour that we had requested, raising smiles all round on a sad occasion...how can anyone follow that?" Glenda T
"I want to thank you Andy, from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful service for Mam. To finish with a song could not have been better. It was a bit hard but I sang my heart out for her, it was lovely feeling I was singing with her, thanks again for everything" Rosalie P
"Andy, I just want to say thank you so much, my brother had the perfect send off." Emma W
"Thank you Andy, you shepherded us through the most difficult of days." Catherine B
"The service was beautiful in every way and you did such a good job in remembering and celebrating a wonderful life." Ali H
"Andy, you just held us. Thank you." Laura S
"You orchestrated the celebration of a wonderful guy's fantastic, short yet fulfilled life and captured it beautifully." Kenneth
"Andy, your research and preparations were impeccable. The service was delivered beautifully and compassionately. Thank you." Michael H
"I had no idea what to expect. When you suggested putting a sound system on the roof of the hearse to blast some tunes on the way to the crematorium, I knew we were in good hands. We'll never forget what you did for us and for our brother. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts." Ryan
phone 07960 393785
email andyjoneshumanist gmail