Solent celebrant discovers her true career calling after arranging father’s funeral

A FORMER charity worker has turned her hand to officiating at ceremonies after 30 years in the charity sector.

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Thursday, 9th September 2021, 4:23 pm
Fiona Heath at her home in Waterlooville Photo credit: Habibur Rahman

Celebrant Fiona Heath, 60, from Waterlooville found she had a passion and skill for the job – after she took the lead in arranging her father’s funeral in April 2020.

She said: ‘In doing that it made me feel a bit better about the fact he had come to the end of his life.

‘Knowing that I gave him everything that he wanted made me feel better about the grieving process.’

Fiona Heath at her home in Waterlooville Photo Credit: Habibur Rahman

After working as a charity fundraiser for the past 30 years, Fiona had always been around vulnerable people and their stories, so found the transition into celebrancy made sense due to her passion for meeting people and discovering their stories.

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She said the role is all about finding what makes the individual unique.

She said: ‘It’s all very much about finding the differences that people have made. People make a difference to other people all the time, they just don’t realise it.

‘My mission is to create and conduct unique, heartfelt ceremonies, whether that’s celebrating love in weddings, loss, honouring someone who’s passed away, or the arrival of life in baby naming ceremonies, that 100 per cent reflect the family’s wishes and to be there for them for such a momentous occasion.’

Fiona trained with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants and started her business, called the Solent Celebrant, last August.

She has done more than 40 funerals in her first year, all of which she said ‘have been completely unique’.

She works closely with the families to create the perfect ceremony, and said: ‘It’s all about finding the special moments to remember them by.’

Fiona is a bronze standard member of the Armed Forces Covenant and as her father was a Royal Marine, she has experience with honouring the armed forces community.

She said she is always willing to celebrate military careers, and can access service records if requested.

In addition to funerals, Fiona has started to widen her celebrancy to a variety of occasions, starting with baby naming ceremonies and is also undergoing training for weddings.

She said it’s important to let people know that they have choices when it comes to their special events and that when working alongside her ‘their wishes come first.’

She said: ‘A lot of people think you can either get married in church or at a registry office. Celebrant-led weddings can be held anywhere, as long as they are licensed and that the local registrar from the council will come along and conduct the wedding.’

To find out more about Fiona’s services or to have a free chat about any funeral enquiries, call 07711595210, visit the website thesolentcelebrant.co.uk or see facebook.com/TheSolentCelebrant

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