Sunday, 21 December 2014

UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter | December 2014

Hello to one and all

Thankfully from tomorrow the daylight hours will be getting longer once again and the December traffic / shopping frenzy will be on the wane.


It may have been a little later than planned but the UK Society of Celebrants Shop  has now been running for a little over a month. The shop has got off to a steady start and is developing in response to YOUR feedback. So, please visit YOUR celebrant store and let us know what you think.



Bespoke Celebrant Folios  | Choice of Designs & Colours
From our exclusive bespoke, hand made in the UK Celebrant Folios to more ancillary products for our members - everything in the store has been selected for its quality, reliability and value for money.

Granted, some of the Celebrant Store products can be found elsewhere at a similar cost, however, rather than dealing with say 4 suppliers for a Unity Sand ceremony set, you can get them all in one place and with only one delivery charge. We use Hermes Couriers for all our deliveries as we have found them to not only be a lower cost but also more reliable than the Post Office / Royal Mail.


Unity Candle Set
We hope you make use of YOUR store to supplement the quality of service you can provide to your clients.


You can contact your UKSOC Shop resident Celebrant to discuss your specific needs on 0800 772 3762. 

Helping Us to Help You!


Be Seen
Being seen is not just related to walking and cycling in low visibility conditions. Being seen also relates to your online visibility. Fortunately, All our members Profile Pages are ranking highly (locally) with all the major search engines - from which, many of you have received enquiries and been appointed. 

Additionally, many of you have also taken the opportunity to have us  build your personal websites / blogs for FREE and show you how to use / engage with them. Of the latest 50 celebrants to complete their training the following information was gained;


  • 31 chose to have a personal website / blog
  • of which, 25 have a complete and fully functioning site.
  • of which, 21 have active linked Facebook / Twitter / G+ / Pinterest accounts.
  • of which, 9 have not used their social media, 3 use it monthly, 3 use it weekly & 6 use social media daily.
  • The 6 daily users are by far the busiest celebrants of the 50 and spend 2-4 hours weekly on their social media activity.

So if you want to be seen and be busier, give social media engagement a try. You are all creative writers, so show your wares. Go on - give it a go - Try these posts for starters:



Don't forget, as part of your membership, your nominated Tutor / Mentor will happily assist you with getting to grips with Social Media and your website in order to engage with your existing and prospective clients. All you need to do is ask. Helping Us to Help You!


Celebrant Training Fees


Click Here for Course Info
If you are considering embarking on training to be a celebrant or further celebrant training, you may be able to make some considerable savings if you book your course before 31 December 2014 & commence training before 31 March 2015. Why?

Well, many of you may have been aware of our training fees freeze during 2014. Courses booked after 1st January 2015 will be subject to significantly increased fees. All courses starting in 2015 will be in our new format - Members will have access to the new materials from 31 December 2014 through Member Resources.


Next month we will be introducing you to our new Fellow and Honorary Members and the winner of our Ceremony of the Year - Steph Carter from Derbyshire - unanimously selected by our Tutor Team.


Well that's is for this month folks. Seasonal Best Wishes & a Happy New Year to You & Yours. 
Stay Busy, Stay Safe, Be Well.

James Convery
CEO - UKSC(FM)

If you think you may have what it takes to become a Civil Funeral Celebrant - visit us here, drop us a line (to your right) or give us a call FREE on 0800 772 0762. Help Us to Help You!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Funeral Celebrant | Arranging a Civil Funeral

Religion? Absolutely No Need!
A Civil Funeral is a funeral steered by the life, wishes and values of the deceased and their family, not by the beliefs or ideology of the person conducting the funeral.

When a loved one dies, it is always a very painful and stressful time and there are, inevitably, decisions to be taken about the funeral. Perhaps the most important question of all is, what kind of funeral do you really want?

Every family is different, and not everyone wants the same type of funeral. The choice may be influenced by religious and cultural traditions, by cost and personal preferences, or by the express wishes of the person who has died.


A Civil Funeral on Coronation Street
Whilst the majority of people in the UK still choose a 'traditional' stock religious funeral service, an ever increasing number are finding that their personal preferences are best accommodated within a Civil Funeral ceremony - a funeral which can include religious elements or no religious content at all, and also other elements that can be combined to better reflect the wishes of everyone involved and engage the assembled mourners.
With the help and support of a professional Civil Funeral Celebrant, the most appropriate personal, meaningful & professional ceremony for this final act of love and respect can be created.

A Civil Funeral ceremony is fitting for either a cremation or burial and can be held at a variety of locations including some churches and religious buildings.



If you think you may have what it takes to become a Civil Funeral Celebrant - visit us here, drop us a line (to your right) or give us a call FREE on 0800 772 0762. Help Us to Help You!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Train to be a Civil Celebrant | Fees

So, if you are thinking of training to become a civil celebrant, NOW could well be the right time.
Have YOU got what it takes?


Whether you are looking to commence training now or before 31 March 2015 you will make considerable savings by booking and paying for your course with the UK Society of Celebrants before 31 December 2015. Why?

Remember, the UK Society of Celebrants are the only celebrant training organisation with:

  • Widest Range of Celebrant Training Courses in the United Kingdom
  • The Only UK Celebrant Training Body to train celebrants across the whole English Speaking world.
  • The Only UK Celebrant Training Body to build you a personalised website and provide ongoing support (SEO, SMM Integration & Associated Training) as part of your training / membership.
  • The Only UK Celebrant Training Body that provides Bespoke Training for Celebrants providing a Bespoke Service.
  • The Only UK Celebrant Training Body with its own in-house celebrant store (UKSOC Shop) for essential quality celebrant supplies.
Civil Celebrant starter kit
UKSOC Shop
As we have frozen our prices for all of our celebrant courses ( Distance Learning | Group Training | Personal Tuition) during 2014, we must now impose our first significant fee increase since 2012.

ALL courses booked or fees paid after 31/12/14 may be subjected to a 5-8% increase as illustrated:

Distance Learning

Diploma in Family & Funeral Celebrancy

This  course combines both the Family and Funeral Celebrancy Courses below. 
(8 to 13 weeks)
£875

Certificate in Funeral Celebrancy

(6 to 8 weeks)
£665

Certificate in Family Celebrancy

This course will comprehensively cover ALL aspects of Family Celebrancy. 
(4 to 6 weeks)
£535


Group Training

Diploma in Family & Funeral Celebrancy

This 4/5 day course combines both the Family and Funeral Celebrancy Courses below.
£1195

Certificate in Funeral Celebrancy

The 3 DAY course will comprehensively cover ALL aspects of Funeral Celebrancy.
£835

Certificate in Family Celebrancy

The 2 DAY course will comprehensively cover ALL aspects of Family Celebrancy.
£595


Personal Tuition

Diploma in Family & Funeral Celebrancy

This 4/5 day course combines both the Family and Funeral Celebrancy
from  £1695

Certificate in Funeral Celebrancy

The 3 DAY course will comprehensively cover ALL aspects of Funeral Celebrancy.
from  £995

Certificate in Family Celebrancy

The 2 DAY course will comprehensively cover ALL aspects of Family Celebrancy.
from  £775

For a comprehensive breakdown of what's on offer with our courses - visit the pages on the blue menu bar above. Alternatively, drop us a line or request a call (to your right) or give us a call on 0800 772 0762.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter | November 2014

Hello to one and all

Well into the Autumn season now and it appears, thus far, to have been a bumper year for our Members as well as the Society.


It may be a little later than planned but the UK Society of Celebrants Shop  is now live & running and will officially open on Friday 14th November.

Civil Celebrant starter kit
Civil Celebrant Starter Kit
The Celebrant Store has come into being as a result of listening to you all - Devised, Designed & Delivered by your fellow celebrant UKSOC Members.


Made to Order  Celebrant Folios  | Choice of Designs & Colours
From our exclusive bespoke, hand made in the UK Celebrant Folios to more ancillary products for our members - everything in the store has been selected for its quality, reliability and value for money.


Granted, some of the Celebrant Store products can be found elsewhere at a similar cost, however, rather than dealing with say 4 suppliers for a Unity Sand ceremony set, you can get them all in one place and with only one delivery charge. We use Hermes Couriers for all our deliveries as we have found them to not only be a lower cost but also more reliable than the Post Office / Royal Mail.


Unity Sand Ceremony Kit (Small Heart)
Basic Unity Sand Ceremony Kit
We hope you make use of YOUR store to supplement the quality of service you can provide to your clients. You can contact your UKSOC Shop resident Celebrant to discuss your specific needs on 0800 772 3762. 

Helping Us to Help You!




Social Media Engagement
Following a number of recent blogs regarding "social media engagement" it has been encouraging to notice how many of you are blogging, tweeting, G+ing etc.

Try these posts for starters:


Don't forget, as part of your membership, your nominated Tutor / Mentor will happily assist you with getting to grips with Social Media and your website in order to engage with your existing and prospective clients. All you need to do is ask. Helping Us to Help You!


Celebrant Training Fees


Click Here for Course Info
If you are considering embarking on training to be a celebrant or further celebrant training, you may be able to make some considerable savings if you book your course before 31 December 2014 & commence training before 31 March 2015. Why?

Well, many of you may have been aware of our training fees freeze during 2014. Courses booked after 1st January 2015 will be subject to significantly increased fees. All courses starting in 2015 will be in our new format - details to follow in our next newsletter.





Well that's is for this month folks. 
                        Stay Busy, Stay Safe, Be Well.

James Convery
CEO - UKSC(FM)

If you think you may have what it takes to become a Civil Funeral Celebrant - visit us here, drop us a line (to your right) or give us a call FREE on 0800 772 0762. Help Us to Help You!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Civil Celebrants | 12 Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers

>How to Get More Blog Subscribers
Courtesy of Hubspot


If you think you may have what it takes to become a Civil Funeral Celebrant - visit us here, drop us a line (to your right) or give us a call FREE on 0800 772 0762. Help Us to Help You!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter | October 2014

Hello to you all

Welcome to Octobers Newsletter especially to our New Members and New Subscribers.

We have just experienced our busiest summer to date, both from the celebrant training perspective and from our members activity. A big thank you to you all and may it long continue.

Course & Membership Fees


As many of you will be aware - due to the economic environment we chose to freeze our fees for the duration of 2014. All course fees will be increasing significantly from January 2015, that said we will maintain our position as the most competitive celebrant training provider. Our Membership Fees are to be frozen at their current level until at least 2018.
  • So, if you are considering embarking upon a Celebrant Training Course you will need to book before 31 December 2014 to secure 2014 prices and you must commence your training before 31 March 2015.
  • Family or Funeral Celebrant Members who wish to embark on further training will receive discounts of  15-20% on the fees listed on our main site, regardless of when they book.

UKSOC Shop
uksocshoplogoWe would like to apologise for the delay in opening your celebrant store . Fingers crossed the shop will open by the end of this month and we will let you know as soon as it has. Many of you have already had a sneak peek and given feedback on many of the products on offer and we are encouraged about the number of pre-orders we have received (particularly for our handmade bespoke presentation folders & Our Celebrant Starter Kits). Watch this space for the announcement.


Training Resources
newcelebranttrainingclassroom
New Classroom at the Terrace

We have finally completed the filming for our instructional videos, which will be made available to All Members via Member Resources. These videos are intended to provide celebrants a platform on which to develop their own "Ceremony Elements" which will inevitably lead to increased appeal and profitability. These videos are currently being edited and we expect them to be available to view, download and use by the New Year.


Celebrant Websites & Social Media

Slowly but surely, more and more of you are "engaging" your public through your blogs, social media and Profile Pages. Please make sure that you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest & G+ as well as subscribing to our blog - look to your right >>>> If you follow us, we will follow you back and if we like what you are doing we will share, like, re-tweet and G+. Have a look here for hints and tips for Social Media engagement.

The above does take some time and effort, but if you do what your Tutors and Mentors suggest you will reap the benefits.
socialmedia
Just do it!

For those of you who chose to have a Profile Page, your prominence on Google is there for all to see. We recently carried out 8 celebrant keyword searches on Google & Bing for every Profile Page we host and 93% of the results showed each celebrant to be on Page one of each search - most above the fold and in the top 5. In some areas of the UK, our members occupied up to 7 of the top 10 search results. Remember, if you do not currently have a Profile Page - get one - its FREE - and you are entitled to it through your membership.

Do you require Social Media Training? - its FREE - to Full Members - just contact your Tutor / Mentor.


Website Hosting

As our members will know, if you were trained by us you are entitled to have your own domain name and website built & optimised for FREE - you will then have to pay a small annual fee in year 2 for hosting your domain and the domain name itself.
Work Smarter - Take control!

We are currently considering becoming a website host, just for our members. The package we hope to provide will cost a little more (£45 PA) but we know the benefits will far outweigh the additional costs as we will become a one-stop-shop for all matters relating to celebrancy within the UK and we can truly customise your experience just like we encourage you all to customise your clients experience.

Remember, everything we do is driven by and for our Members - Yes, you are all Independent Celebrants - but not alone.

Finally, many of you will know Phil Hammond - one of our co-founders and Tutor / Mentor extraordinaire. Phil has decided to take a lengthy indeterminate break on health grounds with immediate effect. Similarly, the veritable Philip Reeves - the Lancashire Celebrant - is similarly minded. I hope you will join us in wishing them both a speedy recovery & return.


Well that's is for this month folks. Drop us a line below if you have any pressing inquiries. Stay Busy, Stay Safe, Be Well.

James Convery
CEO - UKSC(FM)


If you think you may have what it takes to become a Civil Funeral Celebrant - visit us here, drop us a line (to your right) or give us a call FREE on 0800 772 0762. Help Us to Help You!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Civil Celebrants | Blogs & Social Media

Are your eyes glazing over yet?
So you now have a website, a facebookg+, twitter, linkedin pinterest account - What are you doing with them?

Lets be honest - most of you are doing little or nothing, some of you are active but not on a regular basis and a few of you are very active and reaping the rewards.

Before we go any further, remember that Members of the UK Society of Celebrants can receive FREE one to one support from your Mentor / Tutor on using your website, blog and social media accounts. Just give us a call or drop us a line to book an online support session via skype.

As you have read this far here is a quick reminder of what you should be doing.

Unique content is key to you ranking highly on search engines. Blogs are the key to unique content, so this is a good place to start.

Blogs

If you are writing a celebrant related article / post ensure you have the following basics in place:
  1. A relevant title including keywords as above - Civil Celebrants | Blogs & Social Media
  2. Contextually relevant title-related content with keywords - see above and keywords in bold.
  3. Subject and contextually relevant external links (UK Society of Celebrants) that provide further information on your subject matter.
  4. Relevant quality images - particularly with regards to sharing.
  5. Don't forget your labels (see foot of this posting) - social media. civil celebrants, search engines
Social Media Completes Your Marketing Picture

Follow these simple rules and your content will get seen. Don't forget to share your own content via other social media (ie  g+ ,facebooktwitter pinterest ) as these shares will provide links back to your site / post further improving your search ranking.

Next time - effective posting & hashtags on g+ ,facebooktwitter pinterest.



Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wedding Ceremony Elements | The Ring Couriers

Civil Wedding Celebrants are gaining somewhat of a reputation for introducing "special elements" to their clients wedding ceremonies.

One such element, gaining in popularity, is using "birds of prey" to be the ring bearers. Sounds fantastic, does it not? Maybe - but beware - you must choose your falconers / handlers / service providers with care.

No matter how well intentioned the service provider is, they are trying to control a wild predatory animal. On more than one occasion I was the wedding celebrant at  ceremonies where these beautiful "winged bearers" were used.

Flying the Knot

Only 3 from 5 went without a hitch - in the other two one owl decided to fly up to the rafters of the barn where the ceremony was being held and rest up (for a few hours) the other, at an outdoor ceremony, landed as planned but flew off before the rings could be removed or indeed before he could be tethered - it appears the owl successfully managed to have his lunch in the process. At least everyone could see the funny side despite their obvious disappointment.


Fortunately, I was prepared by having 2 brass rings about my person so that the ceremony could still continue. You know what they say about working with children and animals....?

That said one of my clients had an eagle owl deliver their rings - as the celebrant, I had the best view of all - what an impressive wonderful sight - the owl looked like he/she could have picked up the bride and groom.

The moral of this story is to do all you can to ensure that the chosen Falconer has been recommended, has a good track record (testimonials) , carry Public Liability insurance and are registered with DEFRA. Several people have recommended Wendy at Flying the Knot to me however, I have yet to work with her myself - but she does tick all the right boxes.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Naming Ceremony Elements | The Naming Ribbon

Unlike those of a theistic nature, Civil Celebrants whilst officiating Naming Ceremonies prefer not to perform "water boarding" or "simulated drowning" rituals on their clients charges,

Elvis Winston Mandella - Seriously?
Naming Celebrants have found various methods to endow "names" without the need  to resort to the abhorrent rituals above. One such method goes something like this (pictures to follow)

The naming celebrant produced a suitably coloured satin/silk ribbon (25-30mm wide & upto 30m long) and at one end fashions a loop to fit over the left wrist of the child to be named. The ribbon is then systematically wrapped around the left wrists of each parent, grand parent, aunt, uncle, other family members and everyone assembled for the event. When everyone has been "wrapped" the loose end is then fashioned in to another loop and placed around the right wrist of the child to be named - thus completing the circle. The child is then given their "forever name".
This ritual is a beautiful, simple and memorable way with which to engage all those present in bestowing the name on a child as well as being an all inclusive Unity Ritual - No religion, pretentiousness or water necessary.

Next Time : Wedding Ring Couriers

Monday, 21 July 2014

Wedding Ceremony Elements | Ring Warming

If you are looking for an alternative or an addition to Unity Candle / Sand Ceremonies that engage every wedding guest - this could be for you.

Prior to the "procession" the wedding celebrant makes that announcement that the "Wedding Ring - Warming Ritual" is to take place and gives appropriate instructions.

Wedding Ring Warming alternative.
The wedding celebrant or best man then places the wedding rings in a small velvet pouch with a drawstring (or ties them to a small cushion). The rings will then be given to one of the guests with the instructions to hold the pouch with both hands for a few seconds whilst passing on their good thoughts and best wishes to the "intended couple" - this guest will then pass the pouch to the next guest and so on - until all the guests have done the same - the Best Man / Wedding Celebrant or Ring Bearers will take the wedding rings from the last guest and present them to the intended couple for the exchange of rings.



Obviously, there are limitations to a ring warming: it wouldn't work well for super large weddings, and if you're having a big wedding you may want to have someone watching the progress of the rings and keeping them moving in a timely manner through your guests.

Wedding Ring Warming Pouch
This is one great way to engage those people assembled and make them feel an integral part of the days proceedings. Obviously , there are many ways that the above can be achieved, but the "symbolism" of this action is clear for all to see.

Next time - "The Naming Ribbon Ritual"

Monday, 30 June 2014

UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter - June 2014


Hi Everyone

As we appear to be in the middle of our "silly season" this months offering will be kept brief.

Summer Weddings - All things bright & beautiful...
New Members
As usual a big  welcome to all our New Members. Don't forget that ALL Members that have been Trained or are being Trained by us are entitled to have their own website developed, built, hosted & optimised through us, including your domain name (you own the name) as part of your Membership. More and more of you are taking advantage of this offer as you can see the benefits of effective exposure on the internet and being part of an ever expanding network of like minded civil celebrants. For further information contact your Tutor / Mentor. Help Us to Help You!

New Subscribers
If you have not spoken to us yet - please feel free to give us a call on 0800 772 0762 or drop us a line by clicking here or have a look here. We do not bite and we are a friendly bunch - who knows, we may even be able to steer you in the right direction. Help Us to Help You!

Celebrant Shop
As mentioned last month the Celebrant Shop is about to be opened for the first time. We are awaiting delivery of just two stock items before we launch. The launch date is expected to be no later than 7th July - fingers crossed. All UKSOC Members will be forwarded a link to the Celebrant Shop on the Launch Day.


Please remember, that it is you, our Members that asked for us to provide quality consumables and equipment. So please make use of it - the shop is not being run for profit - just to cover its own costs and provide You with tried and trusted products. Help Us to Help You!


Celebrant Tales
You may recall that we have reintroduced the "Celebrant Tales" competition from July 2014.  All entries to be submitted by the 15th of each month. As previously, all entries must be your own work and between 500 & 1000 words in length. Winners will be selected by either a majority of our Tutors or by one of our Honorary Members. The prize will be a £25 Amazon Voucher and a feature in this Newsletter (if you are a Member). 

Well that's is for this month folks. Stay Busy, Stay Safe, Be Well.

James Convery
CEO - UKSC(FM)





Saturday, 31 May 2014

UK Society of Celebrants Newsletter - May 2014

Hello and welcome to this months offering.

It appears that we are all well in to the swing of our busy season. Business seems to be picking up for everyone. A big welcome to our New Members & Subscribers.

Online Activity
We are delighted to see that many more of our Members are engaging with their websites , blogs & social media, which can only improve their online visibility. Keep up the good work. 

Don't forget, we are always here to assist you to get established online and promote you as part of your Membership - just contact your Mentor if you are having issues or wish to effectively engage with your potential clients online. Help Us to Help You!

New Subscribers
If you have not spoken to us yet - please feel free to give us a call on 0800 772 0762 or drop us a line by clicking here or have a look here. We do not bite and we are a friendly bunch - who knows, we may even be able to steer you in the right direction. Help Us to Help You!


Not a well thought our proposition
Open Days?
It has come to our attention that certain civil celebrant training providers are holding one-off / special "open days". Whoo...hooo!

Perversely, these providers are charging attendees for the privilege and promising them a discount of the same amount off any course they might take.................. apologies, we just had to pick ourselves up of the floor!




The sources of our apparent derision are clear and simple:
  • We work from a permanent purpose built office & training facility that actually exists and is open to the public during office hours or even by appointment - NO Charge.
  • Our visitors & guests are always made welcome and refreshments are always provided - NO Charge.
  • We have no need to arbitrarily advertise across the internet and pass on that cost to our celebrant trainees through their course fees.
  • ANYONE - can hire a hotel or conference facility anywhere to host an Open Day. I guess it is required for those who operate through a "rent-a-nice-address" provider and have their actual office in their garden shed or spare bedroom - ring any bells?
Here at the UK Society of Celebrants - every day is an Open Day - just drop us a line here or call us on 0800 772 0762 to ensure one of our Tutors is available to see you. Weekend visits - strictly by appointment only please - we are celebrants too! Our doors are always open to Members & prospective celebrants alike. We won't ask you to "chip-in" for a latte or a biscuit either - promise.


Celebrant Shop
Due to popular demand, we are introducing an Online Civil Celebrant Store / Shop. This shop is intended to be a one-stop-shop for all the equipment and supplies a Civil Celebrant may need for officiating at Funerals, Weddings and Naming Ceremonies.

The shop will be open to ALL, however, it is predominantly aimed at our Members who will benefit from significant discounts.

Be sure to visit the store by clicking here and bookmark the page for future reference.

It is anticipated that the Celebrant Store will open towards the end of June 2014 - you will ALL be informed of the launch date nearer the time.

Celebrant Tales
It has been a while, but we will be resurrecting our monthly "Celebrant Tales" competition from July 2014. As previously, all entries must be your own work and between 500 & 1000 words in length. Winners will be selected by either a majority of our Tutors or by one of our Honorary Members. The prize will be a £25 Amazon Voucher and a feature in this Newsletter (if you are a Member). 
Entries submitted before the 15th of a month will be included in that months competition. Entries submitted after the 15th of a month will be entered for the following months competition.


Well that is it for this month. Be Safe & Be Well

Michael Clancy - Tutor - UKSC(FM)