I have lived and worked in Brighton for 25 years but originally came from Croydon. I live with my husband in Fiveways and have a grown-up daughter.
My previous career was in dental hygiene, where I developed a special interest in working with people to reduce their anxiety and fear of dentistry, and trained others in working with anxious patients. For this, I twice received Dental Hygienist of the Year awards. I also have a Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy.
I was brought up in a strict Christian family, but for the last 40 years have followed my own spiritual path of respect for our world and for each other. I have a very open approach to people’s beliefs and a philosophy of tolerance.
I have lost my parents, ex-husband, family members and several friends, and have witnessed grief and sadness in different ways. I took an active role in arranging my father’s funeral a few years ago; my interest in funerals, and what makes a good funeral, grew from there.
I believe that funerals should be people-centred. There is a growing movement towards families being more ‘hands-on’ and taking an active role in funeral arrangements and the ceremony. This can be a very positive step in the healing process.
I am a member of The Natural Death Centre, which is a charity that helps people to make informed choices about what is right for you, your family and the person who has died.
The taboo and fear of talking about death in our society is slowly beginning to change. I hold regular Death Cafes in Brighton, to encourage people to enter into such discussions, and to start taking control of their own life (and death).
I was recently privileged to be a finalist in the Celebrant of the Year category at the Good Funeral Awards, a prestigious event in the funeral world.
Thank you for all your understanding, help and kindness in steering us through organising G's funeral to the point where we actually came to understand what we wanted. The outcome was a wonderful service that you conducted with such warmth and inclusiveness, that was a celebration of G's life. So many people commented on how impressive you were. We are now able to look back on the ceremony with happiness, through the sadness, which is an outcome we never thought possible.
Thank you very much, on behalf of the whole family, for the wonderfully serene way you conducted my father's funeral. Your calmness and dignity helped us through what was, for all of us a painful event. You read the eulogy so beautifully.
Thank you so much for the beautiful and sensitive delivery of S's service. We really appreciate your hard work, support and kindness.
Frances was our celebrant yesterday, she was magnificent! With an enormous amount of planning by her, for us, she organised us in our grief; with sensitivity and honesty, which culminated in a triumph of our day of celebration. She set the perfect tone, a balance of respect for my wife with the grace, humour and dignity required when addressing over 60 people. A truly amazing day, I can't recommend Frances highly enough.