For decades, funerals have generally taken place in either a church (or other place of worship) or a crematorium and although many are perfectly happy with these options, for others, they may not feel quite right.
If you are not affiliated to a particular religion, a church may hold little meaning.
Whilst others find that a service at a crematorium can feel rushed and does not provide quite what they need for a meaningful farewell.
Should you wish to have the funeral at a religious venue or a crematorium, there are still many ways of personalising the space and the ceremony and I can discuss these with you.
However, I want you to know that you are not limited to a religious setting or a crematorium and that you can actually, with permission, hold a funeral anywhere.
And, increasingly, people are recognising the benefit of choosing a different venue for the ceremony to take place.
You may prefer a function room in a hotel, sports club or country pub or to use the village hall, an outdoor space or even your own home or garden.
I have a directory of venues for you to consider and am happy to approach any others you may have in mind.
However, I am particularly proud and extremely privileged to be able to offer you two specific venues which I have personally selected for their beauty and versatility and because their owners share our philosophy: that funerals are incredibly important and such special occasions should not be rushed.
Each provides a warm and welcoming blank canvas, which you can personalise to incorporate someone’s character and personality.
On the day of the funeral, you will have exclusive use of the venue for as long as you need, allowing you to build a ceremony that contains all the elements which are important to you.
It may be that you want to include additional pieces of music, live music, or the opportunity for more people to speak and share stories. It is often the case that, in less formal settings such as these, people feel much more comfortable and able to contribute, whereas usually they would not.
I believe it is this sense of inclusivity that makes these ceremonies particularly special.
Each location offers beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces where the service can take place, or to act as a breakaway space should you need to take a moment.
They are also less intimidating for children and younger people, who may feel daunted at the thought of attending a funeral.
Experts agree how important it is that children have the opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one but, as a parent myself, I understand this is not always easy in a more formal, time pressured setting.
As these venues allow more time and flexibility, we can create areas for children with crafts and activities, meaning that they can be present and part of the ceremony but in a relaxed way, hopefully creating positive memories for them to take away.
Choosing one of these venues also means that you can hold the wake or funeral tea in the same place as the service.
As always, I will guide you through the possibilities and work with you to create a funeral that is the very best fit for you and your family and friends.
White Syke Fields, Sand Hutton
Nestled in Ancient Saxon woodland on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, just 6 miles from York, White Syke Fields has four distinctive settings where you can hold your ceremony.
There is the smaller barn which has a capacity of 100 and is beautifully rustic with whitewashed brick walls, wooden beams and lots of natural light. Then there is the larger barn, a vast space for up to 400 people, which has all the original farm features, including industrial girders, concrete floors, exposed brickwork and stunning light installations.
In addition, there is a freshwater lake with overhanging willow tree and the majestic Saxon wood, looking out over rolling arable fields.
York Barn, Wigginton Road, York
Formerly the stable building, York barn has been carefully restored to offer a modern, yet rustic, space with light walls and wood floors and its own bar. The barn has multiple bi-folding doors which open on to a large patio space, overlooking 15 acres of landscaped grounds.
York Barn is just 4 miles from York City Centre and has a capacity of 220. There are a number of beautiful farmhouse-styled cottage accommodations on site (perfect if you have guests who have come a long way for the funeral) and also a lake and wooden gazebo where you could hold the ceremony.
Each of these venues offers endless possibilities and we will work with you to turn whichever space you choose in to the perfect setting for your farewell.