Celebrant offers Moray a different route to marriage

Neil Lynch -
Neil Lynch – offering an alternative to traditional weddings in Moray.

LONG SEEN AS an alternative to religious marriage and funeral ceremonies, Moray now has another fully-registered Humanist Celebrant authorised to carry out legal Humanist Weddings.

Neil Lynch is well known and respected throughout Moray having been carrying out Humanist funeral ceremonies.

Now Neil says he is looking forward to conducting “more joyous occasions” in the region, using powers provided by the Registrar General since 2005 for Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) members to conduct weddings.

Originally from Edinburgh, Neil has lived in Elgin for 35 years – he enjoyed a long and varied policing career in London, Edinburgh and Moray that included a spell in International Policing in the Middle East.

It was at the start of this year that the 63-year old decided that the time was right for a new challenge in his working life.

Neil was influenced by the recent funeral of his father and a similar ceremony some time ago of a friend, conducted by well-known celebrant Janet Donnelly. He said “I attended a non-religious funeral for a member of my own family.

That is when I realised how important it was that funerals were delivered with sincerity, respect and attention to detail, and that this can be accomplished in a non-religious ceremony.”

Neil attended training organised by the HSS in Inverness and became fully registered to carry out weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies.

He said: “I’ve been very impressed with the thoroughness of the training at HSS which is reflected in the skill and dedication of their registered celebrants.

“The thing that appeals to me most about humanist ceremonies – weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies – is the full emphasis of the ceremony is on the life that was lived and the individual(s).

“There is an increasing demand for non-religious ceremonies in the area – we conduct around 7000 ceremonies each year – and our team is growing to meet the demand.

“I’m confident that my personal experiences and what I have learned from my previous work life will benefit me in this new role and I’m quite excited about it. I feel honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to help people in my local community create truly meaningful ceremonies and celebrations of life’s important events.”

Humanist weddings are fully legal and can be performed anywhere that is ‘safe and dignified’ – couples can be as romantic and creative in designing their ceremony as they wish.

Humanist ceremonies have been held in gardens, marquees, on boats, in castles, on the tops of mountains, on beaches and in many other traditional and modern settings.

Neil said: “I believe it is very important for a couple to be able to express their love and celebrate their union in ways, and indeed places, that are special to them.”

Neil can be contacted on 07955 386512 or by emailing neil.lynch@humanism.scot.

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