Life's journey can feel like a river - a lazy river down which we float or one filled with rapids and unexpected dangers; and it can feel like a long unending road, or a highway along which we are rushing at break-neck speed. For most of us, there are times in our lives when we need to pause on our journey, gather ourselves and take stock, often in the company of those we care about; so that we can continue our journey with grace, hope and inspiration. These times can be infused with joy that we want to share, or with terrible sadness we need acknowledged and soothed.
Throughout human history, across all cultures, we have created ceremonies around these occasions - ceremonies that bring us together with our community and symbolically carry us across these thresholds, helping us adjust to a changed world.
Often these ceremonies were bound up with religious customs and beliefs and for many people in the 21st century, these traditional religious ceremonies no longer hold the sacred meaning for us they were designed to embody.
But it is possible to create meaningful, heartfelt ceremonies that allow us to really celebrate together or mourn together; to come together and be renewed, strengthened and uplifted by one another. I am a professional celebrant, working in East and North Yorkshire and the City of York, supporting individuals, couples and families through ceremonies that are created as unique and beautiful occasions that honour life with all its twists and turns, its sadness and its beautiful surprises.
I create ceremonies that, although not formally religious, often feel like spiritual occasions because they touch hearts. I try to work from the heart, approaching each commission as a fresh opportunity to respect and discover life and to bear witness to it.