This site uses cookies. For more information, please see our Privacy and Cookie Notice. If you dont agree to our use of cookies, please navigate away from this site now.

Humanist Celebrants

As either a registered celebrant or officiant of Humanism in Scotland, we provide a non-religious approach to life’s rites of passage, including at weddings, renewals of vows, baby/child namings, funerals and memorials etc.  See our ceremony fee structure https://www.humanisminscotland.org/ceremony/our-approach-fees/

The humanist approach is always non-religious and our ceremonies are welcomed by everyone, offending no-one and an opportunity is always included for personal reflection for those who may bring a faith perspective to the celebration and/or to the tribute for the lives or life of the much loved. At first meeting or contact,  we always acquaint you with the humanist ethos and life-stance, to offer awareness of what are our beliefs and values, so that you are comfortable with what follows – namely face to face exchange(s) at the appropriate time(s) which brings into focus, everything relevant to your chosen event.  We are a not-for-profit organisation with an extensive transparent outreach in which we commit to our supported causes & beneficiaries.

For our wedding ceremonies, the opportunity for a couple to compose the script, their own vows, even kept private until the day ...which in itself brings serious reflection as individuals, as to the very basis and the why of their decision to progress to legal marriage and its implicit life-long commitment.  There is no compulsion to join us as we are neither a membership organisation, nor do we require any commitment other than your choosing our approach.  Many choose one of the free wedding template sites as a way of bringing into focus, everything including build up, coordination and other arrangements for the wedding day.  See weddings 

https://www.humanisminscotland.org/ceremony/legal-weddings/

For namings of baby/child/young adult, the conferring of a name since ancient times has been recognised as a symbol of welcome, love and commitment.   Parents or guardians choose the words, poetry  and sentiments on how they wish to commit to their child, combined with readings from other friends & relatives, creating a lifetime memorable occasion/keep-safe for subsequent generations.  They can even be combined with a wedding ceremony, if appropriate.  See namings

https://www.humanisminscotland.org/ceremony/naming-ceremonies/

For funerals or memorials, our officiants feel such privilege in becoming temporarily immersed in a bereaved family’s life at a time of much distress and grief.  Engaging with a bereaved family or partner at that personal level, with the essential care and empathy as a hallmark of good practice, their recovery and healing from their loss of a loved one can begin to unfold.  See funerals

https://www.humanisminscotland.org/ceremony/funerals-memorials/

It might also be important to let you know that we do also provide ongoing support to bereaved spouses . .family members and beyond.  Not being clinicians, we don’t prescribe medication, but find that that is mostly not needed anyway!  Neither are we suggesting that you/your.... define... hasn’t got the strength of mind and resilience to restore their well being.  Given the ongoing support from a dynamic family along with myriads of friends, all can be highly significant in a positive outcome.  Sadly, some are not as fortunate.  We’re here as an independent support (non-relative, non -judgemental & non-confessional) active listener. Active listening is hearing and engaging with our counter rationale brought to bear as appropriate on the issues which emerge.   We simply wish you well.

Linda Babbs

As humans, we have a natural desire to celebrate life and all that it entails, be that birth, death, marriage and the many other milestones that existence brings.  Some look to their religious beliefs to underpin these events, whilst others want to create something that reflects their personal experiences. I believe that Humanism encourages and allows us to do exactly that.

Over the years, I had attended funerals conducted by humanist celebrants and felt that they were the obvious solution for those with no faith traditions. I therefore turned to a Humanist when needing to arrange a funeral for a close family member and felt reassured that the essential facts had been considered along with the accurate details of the person’s life.  We were very much part of the occasion and had the opportunity to say how we felt with love and dignity, both by mourning and celebrating what that person’s loss meant to us. I have since attended Humanist weddings and again, experienced the delight of couples through being able to make the occasion unique to them, with integrity, humour, genuine pleasure and love. I am by profession, a Community Development Worker and enjoy engaging with people and communities, giving them the opportunity to develop and further their potential.  I have always held the belief that people should be encouraged to make their own decisions in life. An individual generally knows what is right for them, although they may need some support to make that informed choice.  It seemed a natural progression for me to become a Celebrant as I had found in Humanism, the appropriate solution for me as it reflected my own ethical beliefs. My role as a wedding celebrant is to guide you through that process, making it as individual and as pertinent and as special as is your love for each other.  Most people know intuitively how they wish to celebrate life events and certainly, that which they don’t want.  To make these celebrations distinctive, it is important that the participants themselves are involved in designing the event; it is in the individual details and personal meanings that create the atmosphere for lasting memories.

I see it as a privilege to be given the opportunity to assist in making your day unique, with as much or as little guidance as you would like. I live near Montrose, with my husband of 30+ years and three cats. Our two children have now left home but family life is very important to us all and we enjoy getting together when we can.

Email: linda@humanism-scot.org

 Tel: 01674-850593      Mob: 077 207 39986

 

Peter Macdonald

I have been involved with Humanism since the mid nineties  and became increasingly aware of the rational approach to life & ethics which it offers. The importance of one’s individual autonomy alongside personal & collective responsibility struck a chord with me. And then, practicing what I ‘preached’, I married my lovely wife at a Humanist Wedding in 2005, prior to taking retirement from the public sector shortly thereafter. Having more free time, I decided to become more involved in Humanism and successfully completed my training, since which as a registered humanist celebrant.

Authorised since 2006 to conduct legal weddings in Scotland as a humanist celebrant/marriage officer, I take great pride in working with you to create a ceremony as personal as you wish. The most important thing for me is your day, a day on which yours is my only wedding booking. I am here for you and you alone.

I have differing styles, level of presentation and formality to offer but I can adapt to any format. This, like many other things in the ceremony, is for your choice as a couple. For me it's all about choice. Your  ceremony will of course be unique, personal and special to you and together, we can decide on the structure & content. It can be traditional, modern, formal, informal, whatever you wish. The vast majority of couples want a relaxed informal wedding with a wee bit of tradition, usually peppered with humour, all agreed beforehand.

Of paramount importance is my desire to maintain the highest quality and level of organisation and presentation at your wedding ceremony, always ensuring that I dedicate my involvement to each and every one of my wedding couples. 

I am married with a ten year old daughter whose adult mind-set is challenging wink, and we enjoy hill-walking, caravanning, cycling, swimming and generally keeping fit.

Email : peter@humanism-scot.org

Face Time (Apple-Mac) - pmfk5@me.com

Skype - Peter.Macdonaldfk5

Facebook - Peter Macdonald Humanist Celebrant. 

Tel:  01324 557671  Mobile 07974 955047

Stephen McLaren

People begin life with open-minds - just like we begin life without fear, prejudice or faith. How open-minded we remain generally depends on where we are in the world and what happens to us. Our awareness, behaviour and morality develops year after year as the world influences us. How we process and cope with the world is the part which we can control.

In the past, it seems we had more religious influence forced upon us, so quite possibly, how we coped with life was more influenced too. We turned to faith and service when we needed strength - and with that, there was a sense of belonging to something. Nowadays, (in many parts of the world) faith is not forced upon us - and where there is a choice, people appear not to choose religion as a basis for their lives. When this happens, hopefully we live as an open book - and we are its author.

So what do we belong to if we don't choose a faith? Do we need to belong to some thing? Personally, I have faith in myself and the people around me . . and I enjoy the challenge of being open-minded. Science, creativity, invention and nature inspire me just as do acts of love and kindness. I hopefully belong to a group of people world-wide who try to follow the golden rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

I believe we can live with fairness in mind and with kindness of heart. You get what you give. Being generous, others will treat us with the same respect that they wish for themselves because most people seek peace and friendship. We have always been at the peril of the minorities who seek fortune and power, but I belong to the majority. I belong with the people who seek peace, equality and respect for others.

Like many, I didn't know there was an organisation that looks to promote these personal ideals. Like me, people discover that there is a name for how we can live our respectful and happy lives. It is called 'Humanism'. I discovered Humanism when I attended a friend’s wedding, for rather than have a religious service, people were choosing to have Humanist ceremonies. This type of ceremony relates perfectly to people who don't have or need religion in their lives.

So, you no longer need to bring religion into your wedding or funeral when you don't have such faith in your everyday life. Humanist Celebrants provide the opportunity for a couple to create their very own personal marriage ceremony.. your expression of love in your words. For me, engaging with 'Humanism in Scotland' is (like many), just an extension of my natural beliefs - and it confirms my responsibility to reach out and help my community wherever I can.  We all have an individual focus, we are all busy - yet we all share an equal responsibility to our communities. Humanism can remind us of that balance.

I live in Dalmeny EH30 9TF (South end of the Forth Rail Bridge) with my wife Linda and teenage son Cal. We are a creative family with music, song writing, gardening, art and evenings by the fire - all playing huge parts in our lives.

I look forward to meeting you in preparation for your wedding. I am here to make your day the perfect reflection of you on such a special occasion in your lives!  My professional background is in fine art and I’m also fairly handy on a guitar sing-along - so I'd be delighted if that was useful in playing any part in your ceremony.            

Email > stephen@humanism-scot.org

t > 0131 331 2619     m > 079 233 35833

 

 

Catherine Baker

At induction stage

      I was first introduced to Humanism in 2005 when I attended the funeral of a close friend.  I was impressed and very moved by the respectfulness and warmth brought to the occasion by the celebrant.  I am a professional musician and singer, and I have played and sung at many weddings and funerals, but this one stood out for me for the very best of reasons. The ceremony had been created to reflect the non-religious views of my friend whilst at the same time, managing to make people of faith feel welcome and able to find a place for spiritual reflection too.  
 
I was subsequently a guest at several Humanist weddings, and I knew for certain that when I married my husband,  this would be the kind of ceremony I wanted - a unique and personal celebration that reflected our beliefs about marriage, about love and about our place in the world together.  After that, it seemed a natural step to begin training to conduct ceremonies myself. Ron McLaren was the celebrant who married my husband and me (and it was a unique and amazing day, let me tell you), so it was to him I turned when I wished to become a Humanist Celebrant. 

The opportunity and freedom to create your own vows and to structure the ceremony in  any  way you wish is a wonderful and special thing.  If you both want to honour the occasion as more than simply a legal transaction between you and your loved one, but you are not  practising persons of faith, or you are simply not at ease with a more traditional religious ceremony, then a Humanist ceremony is the perfect solution.  You can be as inventive as you like, as serious or as light hearted, and we will support and guide you through the process.  However, if you think you'd like a bit more input, then don't worry as we are happy to offer as much guidance and help that's required.  

Your wedding is a special day and  in recognition of that, we only commit to one wedding on any chosen date.  I will work with you and your fiancée/partner to turn your aspirations and dreams into a unique, memorable and meaningful ceremony for you and your family to cherish for the future.

My professional background is as a musician; I worked for a number of years in commercial musical theatre and also latterly as an event planner, specialising in music events, so I'd be delighted to be useful in this area if that can play any part in your ceremony.     

 t >  01383 620835       m >  079 063 65453

 

Ron McLaren

Attracted at age 16 to humanism, since which embedded as his life stance, Ron is actively involved as a humanist in local & national communities and their activities, totally committed to the humanist ethos and its much deserved and justified role in seeking to achieve the betterment of all Scotland’s people.

He also first registered as a humanist celebrant in 2001. Helping to pursue the realistic objective of an exemplar Society in Scotland as a model of community cohesion, he believes it should encompass absolute acceptance of equality in diversity, requiring secular democratic state/governance, with no privilege - real, imagined or implied. Ron's role includes the training and mentoring of Celebrants, Marriage Officers and Officiants.

Married to Val for 40 years and stopped counting,  3 children launched and now - grandfather to 6. Ron is based in Newburgh, Fife and can be contacted 24/7 by email > ron@humanism-scot.org   or at:  t > 01337 842352    m > 078 541 14898

  More about our approach HERE