Humanist Celebrant, Dave Gordon Shute

Dave Gordon Shute

Humanist Celebrant

Hello, I’m Dave and it is my privilege to conduct non-religious funerals.

It can be such a complicated time after a loved one has died. As you are grieving, you suddenly find yourself with more things to do and far less reflective time than is ideal. As a celebrant, I am used to attuning my role so that I provide what a bereaved family needs at this specific time. Yes, it is principally about building a beautiful, tribute-led ceremony but it can also involve inputting some fresh ideas and, if necessary, acting as a foil if there are potentially tricky dynamics to manage.

I work with you, together as a team, to create a personal and touching ceremony, tuned in with the thoughts and feelings of your family member and their closest family and friends.

The ideal starting point is always to hear what ideas you may have first and the ceremony can be built around this. If everything is just a blur, which it can be for so many, then I can suggest ways forward including structure, music, poems and even small, bespoke rituals.

I trained with and am a member of Humanists UK. However, I feel it is also important to note that everyone has their own experiences and influences, and living in such a multicultural city as London, my approach is flexible when crafting an authentic ceremony.

A little bit about me

The roles which I have outside celebrancy are, principally, in the music world: as a performer, teacher and conductor. My love of and knowledge of music can, hopefully, be a real help in devising ceremonies that best reflect the wishes and tastes of the family. It is also my skills as a performer that instinctively help to set the right tone for a funeral, whether the style should be for a quieter, sensitive reflection or a more celebratory feel.

I live in West London with my family and feel very privileged to be able to do this kind of work with a variety of families all of whom have different needs, circumstances and wishes. The challenge of getting it “spot on” can be a little disconcerting but is one to be absolutely relished.