From fashion to funerals

It’s not unusual for guests on Girls Around Town to be talking about why and how they made the decision to change their careers.

But switching from fashion consultant to civil celebrant? That surely has to be a first and definitely one worth hearing more about…

Which is exactly what you’ll be doing when you tune in to this weekend’s show!

Based in Newark, just a stone’s throw away from the Radio Newark studios in fact, Mandy Moran will be on the phone to tell June – and you – what prompted her to take on such a role after many years working for two well-known clothing shops in town.

The new job’s not just about funerals though – as a celebrant, Mandy will be helping people to organise weddings and christenings too…

Tune in to 107.8FM or listen online from 11.20am on Sunday for her story – she’s an artist as well, so no doubt she’ll be talking about her passion for pencil and ink drawings during their chat.

And don’t miss the rest of your favourite weekend show – as usual, there’ll be plenty of gossip and good music to enjoy between 10am and 12 noon!

Celebrating life events

It’s been more than two years since Sarah Willis last joined the Girls Around Town to describe her role as a civil celebrant

As she explained then, although she’s called on to celebrate various other life events, as a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals she’s conducted literally hundreds of such ceremonies since 2007.

A good funeral is one that gives thanks for a life, whether short or long. It can bring comfort but, when we’re at our lowest ebb, the planning it involves can seem daunting…

Sarah’s job is to work with the family to help ensure that this final act focusses on their loved one. “Civil funerals all about choice,” she says. “With guidance from me, the family members plan the ceremony themselves and choose whether or not to have any spiritual or religious content.

“It can be held anywhere and can include songs, music, readings, poems, eulogies and even slideshows. But at the heart of it all is a written tribute telling the story of the person who has died and celebrating his or her character, beliefs and achievements.”

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday when Sarah returns to the studio to tell June and Rachel how she puts her writing, story-telling and public speaking skills to good use in her role as a civil celebrant, whether it’s for a funeral, a naming ceremony or a renewal of vows.

Celebrating life events

sarah willisPlanning a funeral may sound like a strange choice of subject for the Girls Around Town but, as this week’s guest Sarah Willis explains, a civil ceremony is first and foremost a celebration of the life of the person who has died.

As a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals (IoCF), Sarah has conducted literally hundreds of these ceremonies since she became a civil celebrant in 2007.

Described by the IoCF as funerals “driven by the wishes, beliefs and values of the deceased and their family, not by the beliefs or ideology of the person conducting the funeral”, they sit between a religious service and a humanist funeral.

It’s Sarah’s job to help the family plan the ceremony and work with them to choose the music, readings, poems and even slideshows. “At the heart of it all is a written tribute to the person who has died, telling the story of their life and celebrating their character, beliefs and achievements,” she says. “So a civil celebrant needs to be a good writer and storyteller, able to speak well in public and above all to be a good people-person.”

Sarah is also called upon to help celebrate other life events, such as naming ceremonies and renewals of vows – to find out more, tune in or listen online when Sarah joins June, Tina and Sue between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday…