Do you choose a Minister, Celebrant or Humanist?

Who to lead the funeral service

Our approach when we meet a family is to find out as much as we gently can about your loved one who has died. We explore what is important to you as a family about how you wish to reflect their life as you knew it.

This will then help to decide who would be the best officiant for the service – a minister, celebrant or humanist, a family member, or a mix.



When a family is part of a church, it is natural to want to use your church minister. We would work with the Minister to create a beautiful service whether at the church, cemetery, crematorium or a combination.

For families that do not belong to a church but would like a Christian funeral this can be arranged, as anyone is entitled to a Church of England funeral within the parish of where they live.

Funeral services can be held at the crematorium chapel or cemetery chapel and be led by a local minister who we would help to source for you.

A minister led service will typically look back on a life and also look forward – both for those who are left in the grief and the hope held out for the person who has passed.

There’s a fairly set way of starting and finishing a service to give a sense of ritual and peace with the comfort of hymns, readings and prayers. But in the middle there’s flexibility for different readings, tributes and personal music.

The minister would work with you as a family to tailor the service to what you want, whether that be a traditional Church of England service, or a personalised service with a lighter religious touch.


We work with a select group of Celebrants that we know can sensitively deliver an exceptional service. Typically when we sit with a family and explore what will be the best way for you to say farewell to your loved one, we get an instinct as to who would be the right person to represent your family.

We will make a recommendation and introduce you so you can decide if they are right for you. If you are not completely comfortable, then we would make further recommendations.

The Celebrant will then arrange to meet with you to gather the story that reflects back on your loved one’s life, as you feel it should be remembered. Services are tailored to strike the right tone and will include any tributes, poems, readings and music choices you wish to be included.

We work closely with the Celebrant to ensure the structure of the service meets all of your needs for a beautiful, personal, commemorative farewell.


Humanist Celebrants are members of Humanists UK – a charity that promotes humanism, a non-religious approach to life involving a naturalistic view of the universe.

At White Rose Modern Funerals, we can recommend trained and accredited Humanist Celebrants who conduct non-religious funeral ceremonies with sensitivity and a focus on celebrating the life of the person who has died.

We work closely with the Humanist funeral celebrant to ensure the structure of the service meets all of your needs for a beautiful, personal, commemorative farewell.

Celebrants and humanists work in a very similar way, the only difference is a humanist will generally not include an act of worship during the ceremony.

Find out more at

Family member

You don’t have to hire the services of a minister, celebrant or humanist. If you prefer, you could conduct the service yourselves, as family.

We are able to guide you, based on our experience of arranging many funerals and seeing what works.

As experienced public speakers, we are able to step in and support should you need it, as emotions can sometimes be overwhelming.

For more guidance on a family-led service see holding a family-led funeral service.

White Rose Modern Funerals team

We’re here to help

If you have any questions regarding arranging a funeral or planning ahead, please get in touch. Call us on 020 3281 1045 or send us a message.

Independent funeral director

helping families across London & Surrey

You can speak to us anytime on 020 3281 1045 – we’re open 24/7