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Bournemouth Echo Writes About Martin

The Bournemouth Echo and other papers were keen to find out about my life after retiring from 30 years as a police officer the final stage of which was as T/ Assistant Chief Constable. The article is here and link attached below.

According to the British Social Attitudes Survey the majority of the population (53 per cent) are non-religious. Since 2005 Church of England funerals have plummeted by 30 per cent.

Responding to these changes a former Dorset Police Chief Superintendent, Martin Hiles, has recently qualified as an independent funeral celebrant. In his police career Martin helped many people at the lowest points in their lives, including dealing with those who had lost loved ones of all ages and in all kinds of circumstances.

Martin does not belong to any faith or humanist groups so he is free to create partly religious or non-religious funerals, memorials and ashes scattering or interment ceremonies.

He said “Many people assume they want a humanist service but a purely humanist ceremony would mean no religion at all and even a favourite hymn from schooldays can become a problem. However, I’m very happy to include some religion”.

He will create a more traditional or a very contemporary ceremony. Would you like it recorded or webcast to family in faraway places? What about a slideshow of your favourite pictures with a backing track?

If some humour is for you then Queen’s rock anthem Don’t Stop Me Now is surprisingly popular. If someone loved dancing, how about Abba’s Dancing Queen which can even be set to disco lights at one Dorset crematorium.

Martin meets family and friends to find out all about the person who has died; their background, their family, personality, work, hobbies, beliefs and any touching or funny stories. He also helps you choose the music, poetry, readings or prayers you would like.

He then writes the tribute sometimes called ‘the eulogy’ and works closely with your funeral director to produce the full ‘Order of Service’.

He officiates the ceremony at a crematorium, chapel, woodland burial site or other special place you have chosen. Martin speaks for you on the day and he makes sure everything runs smoothly by acting as ‘Master of Ceremonies’.

Martin recognises that humour is not always appropriate. He feels that his role is an extremely serious responsibility and a huge privilege. He said “It is right that tears will flow. Your grief shows your lasting love for someone you have lost. Who wouldn’t want to be missed? But in time, most of us want to be remembered with a smile?”

Martin continued. “My role is to guide and support the family, creating the ceremony they want, not what others assume is expected. A well crafted ceremony should be uplifting and bring some comfort, not just on the day but in the years ahead.”

Dorset Celebrant Martin Hiles can be contacted via his website or email [email protected]

published 14th Sep 2018, 8.23am (about over 3 years ago)

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