Charles is an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor who works with people of all beliefs - or none. His approach is warm-hearted, down-to-earth and open-minded. His own spirituality draws on many sources rather than one fixed set of religious beliefs. It is based on a daily meditation practice which he has been following for more than 20 years. He welcomes the fact that today we don't have to label ourselves as being one thing or another. It's enough to be ourselves!
Interfaith Ministers do not belong to religious organisations like denominational churches. But they have been trained and ordained as ministers by the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation (www.interfaithfoundation.org). As independent funeral celebrants, Interfaith Ministers occupy a middle ground between Christian clergy and Humanists. They are not restricted to providing either a purely religious or secular ceremony.
For example, a family might want a non-religious service which contains a favourite hymn or the Lord's Prayer. Alternatively, they might want a popular song or a poem in an otherwise religious service. Interfaith Ministers can be flexible in how they respond to such requests. They are always open to finding a way of meeting a family's wishes with integrity and respect.
In the funerals that he leads, Charles puts the person who has died at the heart of the service. His role is to listen and then help the principal mourners create a service that feels right to them. He does this with sensitivity and particular attention to the wording of the service. He will help a family to find readings, poems, music and/or prayers which express what they feel and want to say. If they would like to take an active part in the delivery of the service, he will support them to do this.
After a recent funeral, one of the principal mourners commented:"Working with an independent funeral celebrant who was sensitive to our family dynamics was a great relief. With his encouragement, all of us were able to create and be part of a funeral service which truly honoured my brother's death and celebrated his life. My brother was not a religious person but the service became an expression of our deep love for him."