With recent research into public attitudes showing that around 50% of the UK population no longer identify with a particular religion, it is perhaps not surprising that more people are also looking for non-religious funerals.

According to the National Centre for Social Research, this trend is likely to continue as older, more religious generations die out and are replaced by less religious generations.  There is little evidence that substantial numbers find religion as they get older.

If you are looking at your funeral options and don’t think that the traditional involvement of a vicar or priest is right for you, then a Humanist funeral might be an appropriate option to consider. It may also give you more option to personalise the content and format of the ceremony in line with your wishes.

So, what is a Humanist Funeral?   

A Humanist funeral will be led by a celebrant rather than a minister of religion.  Humanist celebrants come from all walks of life and reflect the diversity of the different communities they serve.   An average fee for a funeral celebrant is £190 (Source: Humanists UK)

The focus of the ceremony is on the deceased and celebrating their life in a way that is personal and fitting and without any reference to religion.   As with other types of funeral, a humanist funeral can be held in many different locations, but most are still held at crematoria, cemeteries or woodland burial sites.

The celebrant will work with your family and friends before the ceremony to understand as much as possible about your life and to make the occasion as personal to you as possible.   They will write the script for the ceremony, incorporating your suggestions for poems, music or readings, and liaise with anyone else you want to participate.   Often they will also give your dependents a presentation copy of the final script.

If you would like to find out more about the Humanist funeral options available to you, or to find a celebrant in your area, we recommend you visit www.humanism.org.uk where there is further information available to point you in the right direction.

You may also be interested in watching this video by Stephen Fry explain the different Humanist Ceremonies available.


To record your funeral wishes so that your dependents know what you want to happen when you die, you can download our free “My Wishes” checklist at www.simplydead.co.uk/download-guide