Heartfelt Ceremony can help to make funerals and celebrations of life a fitting dedication to a loved one.
I’m Kate Mortimer, Heartfelt’s professionally trained celebrant. I am passionate about what I do and about making funeral ceremonies, memorials, scattering of ashes and celebrations of life dignified, respectful, reflective and in line with your (and the person’s who has died) ethos, values, and spiritual beliefs (if any). However, ceremonies can also be enormously creative and joyful in expressing all that the person meant to you and the times you had together. Whether you want a traditional ceremony or less so, whether you have a clear vision for how you want it to be conducted, or whether you are struggling to envision a structure and content and need me to write, as well as conduct, the ceremony in full, I would be delighted to meet you. It is my privilege that you may choose to make me part of the celebration of a special person’s life and to help mark that person’s passing, and express what they meant to you, family and friends.
My communication, empathy, presentation and organisational skills, from many years as an NHS and independent therapist, allow me, within Heartfelt, to truly understand your hopes and wishes, and make the celebration of life for your loved one happen your way. I have 17 years experience of working with intense emotions and (often traumatic) bereavement and loss professionally, as well as from my own experience of a number of bereavements amongst family and friends. My aim and privilege is for you to remember the time you spent with the person; their struggles and hard times if you wish, as well as the good, to enable you to grieve in the healthiest way possible and come to terms with your loss.
An MA in Creative Writing means I can enable you to express your emotions, love and memories, through individually crafted ceremonies written with you and your loved one in mind, as well as conduct your ceremony.
I am very happy for family and friends to conduct readings and share memories, should they and you wish.
I also work with people who have a life limiting illness. If you are in this situation, it would be my privilege to come and meet with you, so we can plan ahead for the celebration of your life that you would choose, and to involve significant others as you would like.
Although I am trained in non religious, humanistic style ceremonies and celebrations, I have no ethical objection whatsoever to you including poetry, hymns and readings of religious origin if these are significant to you or were to your loved one – it’s your ceremony, and your wishes and needs are paramount.
First of all, if you have lost someone important to you, I am so sorry for your loss.
I offer a free, no obligation initial meeting, where we can meet at your home or a venue of your choosing, so you can decide if I am the right celebrant for you. I am passionate about your ceremony surpassing your expectations and about making things as easy as possible at this difficult time. I take pride in getting to know you, and to hear about the person who has died; in offering a service with integrity; and in my professionalism and compassion, all of which can minimise the stress on you and enable you to have the ceremony which best fits your loved one’s life.
I can liaise with funeral directors and other professionals involved to make things as easy as possible for you. Nowadays, people have many available options for burial, cremation and scattering of ashes, which I am happy to talk through with you. Many people do not know it is possible to be buried on your own land, and to have ashes scattered at a wide variety of sites, for example.
I am based in Bristol and am able to travel throughout the South West (covering as far North as Birmingham and as far east as Surrey, as a guide).
I am trained and qualified in Stage 3 of the National Open College Network for Funeral Ceremonies and Celebrancy, and am currently studying for my Level 4 for Baby and Child funeral ceremonies - the highest nationally available awards.
I am a member of the Association of Independent Celebrants, through which I hold indemnity and public liability insurance.
I also conduct informal ceremonies to celebrate the life of pets/companion animals who were significant to you, with respect and compassion.
I have a special interest in and knowledge of celebrations of life for difficult circumstances, such as where there is no body or ashes available; where there are challenging family dynamics such as disputes/estrangements; where your loved one died suddenly, or under tragic circumstances, such as disaster, multiple bereavements, accident, murder, or ending their own life.
My fees are £260 for a standard ceremony in the Bristol area. This includes an initial meeting (which can be by phone or Skype if you are some distance away), writing a ceremony of up to 30 minutes, suggesting readings and resources, up to three script revisions and a keepsake script. Additional travel outside Bristol is 50p per mile. I conduct funerals for babies, and children under the age of 16, free of charge. By arrangement, my fees can be paid through funeral directors after the ceremony.