“Lovely man. Family and I thought he conducted the Celebration of Life wonderfully. It meant we could have the ceremony where we wanted.”

I create and lead funeral ceremonies that have a humanist philosophy. Equally I deliver those which are more generally non-religious. You certainly do not have to be a humanist to have a humanist ceremony.

“Dear Steve, I wanted to let you know how very grateful the family are for your services yesterday and over the last few weeks.  But more than this, I wanted personally to thank you for all your words yesterday, the kindness you showed my Mum and the sensitive way you managed everything.We were all so very moved and touched with the words you chose to honour my Dad.  From our relatively brief meetings you skilfully extracted the very essence of his personality and life and reflected these yesterday with beautifully chosen words and perfectly selected passages.  As a non-religious person myself I felt at moments that I had been able to obtain that peace that the believer has in the spiritual through your words about the cycle of natural elements and the natural words – it was truly beautiful. Thanks again so much for giving us all an experience which (despite our tears!) was not sad, was supporting and uplifting and calm and felt so very, very right.” SD, East Yorkshire


Steve Emmett

steve emmettI’m  a humanist funeral celebrant working primarily in York, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire including Hull and the Humber, but I will travel anywhere if requested. I am trained, accredited and insured by the British Humanist Association to work as a professional celebrant. I will work with you and, if you have one, your funeral director to create a personalised ceremony, an event that will be a fitting tribute to your loved one and a lasting memory.

Many people believe that you must have a ‘minister of the cloth’ to conduct a funeral. This is not the case – in fact, there are few regulations concerning funerals. So, people who have lived without religion, whether agnostic or fervent atheist, can have a funeral completely free of god, prayers and hymns.

I think most non-religious people are humanists if they only realised it, and I enjoy talking to people about Humanism and its philosophy. In my part of England there are often some among the mourners – and even funeral directors – who are quite hostile to the idea of a humanist funeral – believing that only a religious funeral is proper. Invariably, they are among the people who come to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed it. Some assume that because a ceremony is non-religious or ‘atheist’ it is about being negative, but this could not be more wide of the mark. Humanist funerals are uplifting events, each one unique to the deceased and their loved ones,  reflecting their lives, achievements and relationships.

“Thank you so much. A few of our family are regular church-goers and they loved the service. So credit to you. Thanks again.” LE, York

I enjoy all aspects of being a celebrant – meeting people, creating the ceremony, and conducting the funeral itself. It is an immense honour and privilege to play such an important role at such a time as the death of a loved one. I work hard to make sure that each funeral is exactly right for the family concerned, and nothing gives me greater reward than knowing I have done a good job for them.

If you are looking for a humanist funeral celebrant, or just want to talk about humanism, then please do give me a call.

“I would like to add my 100% positive feedback for your web site so that others seeking a professional Humanist Funeral Celebrant will be reassured that no request is too trivial or too much trouble for you. We appreciated your availability, guidance, management of the difficult funeral director, supportive approach and attention to detail in planning for the celebration of our mother’s life which far exceeded my expectations. My mother would have been delighted with her funeral and described it as perfect. With many thanks.” Jan, London

GFA Cert 2014

Please take a little time to explore my website. There is introductory information about Humanism and ceremonies with suggested further reading and useful links. There are sections to help you find a funeral director, examples of music and poetry, links to burial grounds, crematoria and sources of counselling.

Why not start by watching this short BHA video about humanist funerals?

Why choose a BHA Celebrant?

Humanist Ceremonies™ is the BHA’s network of trained and accredited Humanist celebrants throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. All BHA celebrants are:

  • Carefully selected
  • Well trained and mentored
  • Committed to their Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
  • Mutually supportive
  • Responsive to you and your circumstances
  • Committed to giving the best.

Please feel free to refer to our Code of Conduct.

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