From fashion to funerals revisited

Hard to believe it’s been almost two years since Mandy Moran first joined June on air to talk about her plans for a major career change…

But after a brief encounter while out shopping recently, followed by a more leisurely coffee catch up a few days later. the two of them are back together again for this week’s Girls Around Town!

Mandy will be live in the studio during the second hour of the show, reminding listeners what inspired her to make the switch from fashion to funerals in late 2020 and sharing the story of her journey from one to the other.

It’s a journey that’s taken her through lockdowns and restrictions but now that’s all a thing of the past she’s looking forward to continuing to build her business as a civil celebrant, guiding clients through the planning of funerals, weddings and naming ceremonies before going on to write and perform them for families and friends with love and respect.

Don’t forget to Put On Your Sunday Best on 107.8FM, on the apps, on Alexa or online from just after 11am this weekend for this latest catch up with Mandy…

Living just a few minutes’ walk away from the Radio Newark studio, she’s bound to be bang on time so make sure you are too!!

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…