Monday, 4 November 2013

UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter - November 2013


Welcome to the UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter - November 2013
Hi to ALL our subscribers
Welcome to this months edition. A new cleaner, crisper Newsletter look this month as some of you have said the old format was a little too dark. Lots to get through this time so here goes.
Progress
Once again we have just experienced our busiest month ever, both in terms of new members & celebrant training. A big welcome to you all our new Members and Subscribers.
There also seems to have been more interest in our Civil Celebrants combining resources to offer their services in particular geographic areas.
Keep an eye out for Wendy & Howard at Unique Life Ceremonies in Humberside, which will be formally launched in December - you will need to book early - you have been warned -  they will offer a full range of Civil Celebrant Services.
Similarly and most recently we welcome Catherine & Suzi from Warwickshire. Two more dynamic & talented ladies you could not wish to meet - they are to form "The Civil Celebrant Company" (watch this space).
Finally, Philip Reeves from Fleetwood will soon be launching his  "The Lancashire Celebrant' website.
Good luck and continued success to you all.
If any members wish to consider combining forces with others, we are only too pleased to help you achieve this - just let us know - we're here to help. Success for you is success for us. Our industry is on the brink of growing exponentially and we are firmly in place to take advantage of it. Exciting times!
NEW Training Courses?
We are examining the possibility of hosting a series of 8, 1 Day  Stand Alone "Weekend Celebrant Workshops" with effect from April 2014. The subjects covered will be advanced script writing , presentation skills, platform speaking, IT skills, counseling skills, effective interviewing, marketing skills.
All but one (Emotional Intelligence) of  Workshops will be FREE to attend for UKSoC Members however, the travel and refreshment costs need to be considered.
The workshops have been written & planned as part of our Tutor Development program and will be delivered by the Tutor's who were mainly responsible for each of the Workshop designs.
Your thoughts would be most welcome in relation to this matter. Please send them here! If there is sufficient interest, we will run a trial early in 2014. 
Our Market
Having recently met / conversed with a number of our competitors. The outcomes were a somewhat muted.
With the exception of one (geographically close to us) most seemed to be either happy with their lot or merely concerned with "empire building".
At least two major Celebrant Bodies are prepared to talk like grown ups and we are both prepared to take on the "nay sayers" and push our industry forwards.
We pride ourselves in our willingness and demonstrable ability to offer our members support in all that they do / want to do:
  • We do NOT advise our Civil Celebrants to offer free services as a "foot in" to third parties and leave them to flounder, without support and subsequently walk away from being a celebrant.
  • We DO provide all our Civil Celebrants with the necessary tools and support to do their job in a personal, meaningful, sympathetic & professional manner.​
  • We ARE accessible, approachable, flexible, knowledgeable & determined to ensure quality of service to our members and and our public alike.
Enough ranting for now - we know you get our drift. We will continue to consult  & develop (with you & others)
Celebrant Tales
This months winner is Wendy Martin - UKSC(M) (last minute entry through James Convery - probably sat on it for weeks ;-)  Thanks Wendy - your £25 Amazon Voucher will be with you soon.
Now this is a true story!  It just so happens that, my beloved ‘Other Half’; who will ‘from this day forward’...did I mention I was a Wedding Celebrant?...Whoops I’m digressing...who from this day forward will be referred to as my OH, is a Funeral Celebrant.
Now, this particular day, my OH was required to travel to the other side of our kingdom (the UK not UKSoC) to conduct a Funeral.  It was a long and dusty road he travelled (alright just using a bit of ‘poetic license’ to paint a picture for you); well anyway, it was a long way.
By the time OH arrived at the Crematorium, he was longing for a cup of coffee.  Having been told by a lady; he took to be leaving from the last funeral, that there was a Coffee Machine in the ‘Relatives & Friends, Waiting Room’  OH was very pleased at being given this news.
OH very quickly located said room (he’s not stupid my OH ;-)) and spotted the large, push button machine lurking in the corner; I’m not sure if machines actually ‘lurk’, but I have rather a fondness for this word. “Wonderful”, he thought “I can already smell the coffee beans”.  “Right, now do I read the instructions first?  No, (why break the habit of a lifetime?) Selecting ‘White Coffee with sugar’, he pushed the button, and waited...and waited...nothing.  Not to be daunted he tried ‘Americano with sugar’...nothing.
Getting a little frustrated by now, he pushed the button for ‘Mocha’ (he had no idea what this was, but, hey...)....nothing.  Now, desperate for a hot drink, he pushed the last button ‘Hot Chocolate’ (and let’s face it guys, you’ve got to be desperate to order that!).  Nothing!
Now OH was just about to try the old ‘if in doubt, shake the bl**dy machine’, when he noticed the little icons on the Coffee Machine were all registering ‘Empty’!  There wasn’t a coffee grain in sight.
By now OH was feeling extremely grumpy and, was running out of time for his Funeral.  He decided to collar one of the Crematorium staff members, and quickly spotted a likely looking chap, outside, in a Crematorium uniform.  OH, rushed over to him and said “Excuse me, I’m a Funeral Celebrant, and I’m due to take the 2pm ceremony, I’ve only got five minutes and ...head nodding in the general direction of the room...the coffees’ empty”
Now, on receiving this piece of news, the Crem. Man suddenly went rather pale “Pardon?” he said.
“Yes, it’s completely empty” said OH.
“How do you know”? said Crem. Man in a slightly ‘worried voice’.
“Well” answered OH (thinking ‘What a strange question’) “I’m sure, because I just looked and it’s definitely empty”
Crem. Man was by now ‘deathly pale’; quite an appropriate colour for a Crematorium Staff member ;-)  “Have you told anyone else”?  He asked, “You haven’t said anything to the family have you”?
"OH"
“Why would I mention it to the family”? Replied OH “Frankly” he continued “I don’t think they’ll give a damn.  Anyway, they probably already know because they were, I think, messing about with it before I arrived”.
Now this piece of news appeared to be the ‘last straw’ for Crem Man.  Grabbing OH by the arm he said, in a (by now) increasingly ‘desperate’ voice “We’ve got to inform the Manager and the Funeral Director...right now”!  He was, by now, dragging OH towards a door marked ‘Crematorium Manager’.
“Hold on” said OH, “Is this really necessary”?  “I mean, you must have a kettle and coffee in your staff room”?
“Coffee”? said Crem. Man in a puzzled voice.
“Yes” replied OH.  “The coffee machine in the ‘Waiting Room ’is completely empty...”
“OMG” said Crem. Man, his face now brightening.  “I thought you said the coffin was empty”!
‘It shouldn’t happen to a Celebrant’, but, it usually does!
Thank you Wendy - it would have been great to have been a fly on that particular wall.
Celebrant Tales entries for the next UKSoC Newletter to be received no later than 25th November 2014 - entries to be sent here.
Apologies
The "Complete Celebrant" set of publications (mentioned in previous Newsletter) has been delayed due to ISBN related delays - the problems are resolved as far as we are concerned - but, we feel that we have just been put on "hold". 
We promise to rush the Freebies out to all members as soon as the problems have been sorted.
Feedback
Thank you to all those out there who have taken time out to give us feeback on Celebrant Training Courses, Member & IT Support and our Website. We appreciate your comments and endeavour to act on them quickly  - as is there for all to see.
The NEW Distance Learning Celebrant Training, introduced in April is now firmly established and initial teething problems have been fully resolved.
For some unknown reason we have had a resurgence in Personal Training Courses, which provides us with somewhat of a quandary, as we had planned to remove them with effect from 2014. We will keep you posted.
Those of you who use Member Resources have done so enthusiastically - we hope that you like the NEW look resources that will be introduced late November.
Its good to see so many people taking up our offer of IT support including website / mobile site building. We know that you cannot get it done cheaper or quicker than we can do it - unless you are an IT person in the first place. We're here to help!
Remember: Don't forget to tell us about new blogs , sites and email accounts that you may acquire , in order that we can amend your profile pages accordingly.
Big News
We have become only the fourth organisation in the UK to be accepted as a National Affiliated Group to the National Secular Society. This move is seen as a natural progression for the UK Society of Celebrants as we are in essence a secular service provider.
All UKSoC Members are welcome to contribute to the "Secular Debate" by submitting their thoughts and comments by email to us.
Thanks for reading this far. That's it for this month. See you soon. Be Safe & Be Well
James Convery & Phil Hammond

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