• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Queen’s service ‘was remarkable’, says Wantage nominee for Celebrant of the Year at national Good Funeral Awards


Sep 20, 2022

An Oxfordshire-based celebrant has been nominated for a prestigious industry award for helping families dealing with grief say goodbye to a loved one.

Beth Whaley, from Grove, Wantage, was nominated by local families for Celebrant of the Year at the national Good Funeral Awards which will be held in Stadhampton.

Ms Whaley said: "It's a very prestigious award which will enable me to help more bereaved families.

"It is recognition for my creative writing and presentation skills, and the way I care for and help bereaved people."

The industry is in the public eye following yesterday's State funeral for HM The Queen.

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Ms Whaley said: "I thought the Queen's funeral was remarkable. The Queen is well known for her talent at holding and bringing people together, which is seen in the cheers that erupted along parts of the route when her body was brought back to Buckingham Palace or the friendships that sprung up in the line to visit her laying in state in Westminster Hall.

"The whole funeral, from start to finish I found was a very fitting send off for her. It brought us together as a nation, and collectively we were all able to celebrate her in a way that was personal to each of us."

Ms Whaley has worked as a celebrant for eight years, writing and conducting bespoke ceremonies for funerals, as well as weddings and vow renewals and namings.

As an Australian, she reckons it is her laid-back approach that ensures people quickly feel comfortable with her.

She added: "Being a celebrant is the most rewarding job I have ever had. Unlike traditional services, each ceremony I write is exclusive.

"I am here to give your loved one the best possible final farewell and to guide people every step of the way."

Among many five-star reviews on her website, one reads: "Yesterday was just as it should’ve been. So many people were thrilled at the inclusion of them in your service."

Others say she captured "the essence" of their loved one and "did it in such a caring way".

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And another says: "I just wanted to thank you for all your beautiful words yesterday. We have had so many comments on how beautiful the service was and how nice and gentle you were."

Ms Whaley also conducts pet blessings, pet funerals and gender recognition ceremonies.

She said: "Whatever ceremony you are looking for I make sure that it is created around the client, reflecting their unique story with words that have meaning for them and a style that is theirs."

  • The 2022 Good Funeral Awards, organised by The Association of Green Funeral Directors, will take place at The Crazy Bear, Stadhampton on September 24.

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