Making a Change | Civil Celebrant


Naming Ceremonies

Civil partnerships
Renewing Vows



clare-gilsenan-hypnotherapy-portraitAbout Me

I love working with people and have many years of experience listening to my clients needs.

I have learnt the critical skills of planning and carrying out personalised civil celebrations, services and ceremonies on behalf of my clients, including weddings, renewal of vows, civil partnerships, commitment ceremonies, naming ceremonies, funeral services and memorial services. I create and deliver special ceremonies providing treasured memories at the happiest times of my clients lives, as well as moving, meaningful services that help comfort them in the more difficult times.

I am based in West Sussex and cover East Sussex and Kent. I am happy to travel further afield and this can be discussed.

During  the initial telephone conversation I will explain the way forward and if agreed will arrange a face to face meeting. Depending on the type of ceremony there might be further face to face meetings to ensure that everything is just as you would like it. Everything will be made clear and you will be given all the support that you need.

I will help you along the way to creating a unique day that is tailor made for you with all your wishes included. 

You may want religious elements or none at all and I can be as involved or uninvolved as you wish.

Your ceremony will be exactly as you would like it to be. I can assist you with readings, poems and music that mean something to you.  I can also help with the logistics of your day. I will get to know you and listen to all your wishes so that your ceremony tells your unique story.

Naming Ceremonies

A naming ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of a new baby or to welcome an adopted child or step-children into your family and wider community. Many families choose to hold a naming ceremony to celebrate their child’s arrival.

Naming ceremonies can be arranged by any parent or guardian, and there is no age limit so older children can be included in the same ceremony.

The ceremony has no legal standing but it is an opportunity for a public gesture of love and support for your child.

I can help you with readings, poems, music, venues and organising the day.

Funerals and Memorials

Funeral celebrants play several roles in the service or celebration of life. There are no limits to who can conduct a funeral, but a celebrant has more experience.

This expertise reveals itself in their many duties. 

Organise the funeral – From developing the structure of the ceremony to preparing a schedule, I am there to help.

  • Lead the service – I will lead a non-religious service that focuses on the life of the deceased. They touch on his or her accomplishments, relationships, and impact without speaking of religion or the afterlife unless requested.
  • Expert knowledge – I am familiar with death and dying rituals, funeral songs, readings, symbolism, and traditions around funerals. 
  • Organise speeches – Organising speakers at a funeral is a challenging job, especially when emotions are high. I can take over this leadership role, guiding guests through multiple speakers.
  • Personalisation – Because religious ceremonies rely on a long-held tradition, non-religious ceremonies have the opportunity to be more personalised and unique. I can personalize all components of the service.
  • Grief management – Finally, I am trained in managing grief within families. I can help families at a time of loss, and work well under stress.

Many people mistakenly confuse celebrants for those who handle the body or burial services. While many celebrants are available for advice about these topics, they are not qualified as a funeral professional or mortician. Though there is often overlap, this is not always the case. Instead, think of funeral celebrants as ceremony specialists.

Weddings/Civil Partnerships

I will work alongside you and guide you through the creation process of your wedding ceremony. Together you will work on beautiful ideas and get to know one another, eventually resulting in a bespoke and personal ceremony that reflects you as a couple and your dreams for the future. There are no rules and no boundaries.

I can help you craft a wedding ceremony like no other. This gives you the freedom to choose where and when you want your ceremony to take place. Working with your own ideas and thoughts, looking at everything that makes your relationship special, I will take time to guide you through a variety of traditional and symbolic ways to make your dream wedding an awesome reality. I specialise in creating and designing bespoke rituals which celebrate your union and, if desired, include your family members and guests. I delight in telling your love story.

Vow renewals, Memorials

Taking into consideration your year(s) together, and perhaps celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary, these ceremonies are a wonderful way to re-affirm your commitment and love to one another in front of family and friends.

You can retain elements of your original wedding day and even embrace new ideas that reflect who you are now; I will weave your journey together into your vows making your day unique and personal to you.

These ceremonies are warm and relaxed and can be as romantic and sentimental as you wish.

I will help you with the writing and delivery of your vows to make sure that they reflect your uniqueness as a couple.

Of course, everybody is different so if you would like more information on how we can work together to create your own, tailor made ceremony please contact me on 07957 621107 or email me on for a no obligation chat.