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Advice and Information

Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional funeral you may like to hold a Life Celebration for your loved one instead, which takes place separately to the funeral. A Civil Funeral is a non-religious funeral ceremony led by a celebrant from the register office instead of a vicar or minister.

Life celebrations

The Thomas Robinson Building offers the perfect location for such a ceremony. It is a former chapel building that has been lovingly restored and is now home to Stourbridge Registration Office. The building is available to be booked for life celebrations on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Each ceremony, led by a professional and experienced celebrant, is written individually for your family. It gives a focus for family and friends to gather together to remember your family member who has sadly passed away. A life celebration remembers the good times and happy memories rather than dwelling on their passing.

You may choose to add readings, a floral table arrangement, order of service booklets or  a memorial to your booking to further personalise your ceremony. 

Civil funerals

A Civil Funeral Ceremony provides a comprehensive framework that allows you the freedom to make a range of choices about the content and style of the final Ceremony. There’s a wide selection of readings to choose from, and you can include additional pieces that had a special meaning and significance for the deceased.

Whilst the ceremony is non-religious in nature, you can include items with religious references if you wish, such as a prayer or hymn. The Celebrant will advise you of all the options available and help you decide how they should be arranged and presented. You may like to include family members and friends in the ceremony as well as any music that you feel is appropriate.

In short, what is created is a Ceremony unique to the deceased: a tribute to, and a celebration of, their life, designed and conducted to reflect your express wishes and those of your loved one.

The fee for a life celebration or civil funeral is £290

Life celebration ceremony

Our celebrant will welcome everyone and share some thoughts and memories with all your guests. You can add an appropriate reading or two to the ceremony, which a family member or friend can read. A eulogy, written together with the celebrant, is delivered as part of the ceremony. Your choice of a special song or piece of music can be played to allow guests to sit and reflect privately on their memories. You might like to bring in a photograph to stand on the desk as a focal point.

A life celebration can take place following an intimate family funeral as an opportunity for the wider family and friends to celebrate the life of their friend and relative. For some, an unattended funeral is the choice of their loved one; a life celebration allows for the deceased to be granted with their wish of an unattended private funeral and gives those left behind the ceremony that provides reflection, celebration of a life well lived and closure.  It can take place near to the time  or months after the death, when the initial grief has passed and you are feeling more able to cope or can be held on the anniversary of the death or on your loved one’s birthday or another special date.

Civil funeral ceremony

A Civil Funeral Ceremony is, above all, a ceremony that reflects the wishes of the family and is focused on celebrating the life of the deceased. It is both a dignified tribute and a highly personal memoir, created by a professional Celebrant in consultation with the family or executor.

A Civil Funeral can be held almost anywhere you wish, except in churches or religious buildings. The Ceremony is appropriate for either a cremation or burial at any non religious burial ground or woodland burial site.

The person conducting the Ceremony will be a fully trained professional Celebrant. They will also be a Registrar but will not be acting in their statutory capacity as a Registrar, when they conduct a Civil Funeral – their role as a Celebrant is a different and separate function.

Arrange a ceremony

Please contact The Register Office to arrange a Life Celebration or a Civil Funeral Service. Your Funeral Director or a relative or a friend may make the call if you wish. A Celebrant will then contact you as soon as possible and arrange to meet with you. This meeting will usually take place at the Register Office. At this first meeting all the available options to you will be discussed and explained.

You’ll also be asked to provide as much information as possible about the deceased. You may feel it helps to have another member of the family or a close friend with you at this time. Following the meeting the Celebrant will create a Ceremony that reflects your instructions. You will then have the opportunity to check the details before the Ceremony. The Celebrant always delivers the Ceremony from a script. Families who would like a copy of this can request one to be sent to them after the Ceremony.

Please note that civil funerals are currently being held with restricted numbers of mourners, however under the current restrictions due to Coronavirus, a life celebration cannot be arranged at the present time.

Email: register.office@dudley.gov.uk

Telephone: 01384 815373

Please note our lines are quieter in the afternoons