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Hello, my name is Lucinda Groves divorced Mother of three adult children living in rural Hampshire.

Born in 1963 the eldest child of a farming family; I went to school in London and then Surrey.  My interests at school were mainly art based, language and literature, art, design and drama.  After school I went to a sixth form college to do A levels in English, Art and History of Art.  I decided that my career path would be in the art world and I went to Florence Italy to learn the language and to absorb myself in renaissance art.  

I returned to England in 1983 went to College to do a secretarial course before moving to London; I had become disenchanted with academia and was keen to earn my own money.  I answered an advertisement for an Estate Agent in the King’s Road, Chelsea and got the job.  The next 10 years were spent in Chelsea and Knightsbridge working in the offices of two Estate Agents.  I sold flats in London and took road-shows of apartments to the Far East to sell as investments to the Chinese, Malay and Singaporean markets.

I got married in 1990 and three years later was pregnant with my first child when my Grandmother became terminally ill and required care.  We returned to Hampshire; cared for her in the last couple of months of her life and for my Grandfather for the last 9 months of his.  During this time Jack was born and we established a tea-room in the garden of my family home.

I continued to run the tea-room; doing the baking and preparation as well as serving teas, lunches and evening events over the next three years.  During this time we went on to have two other children, Frances in 1996 and Adam in 1997.

Unfortunately the strain of three tiny children and an embryonic business proved to be too much for my husband and he left in 1997 forcing me to sell the family home and move to a smaller house in Liphook.  I continued to do outside catering from there – but it was jolly hard with 3 little children.  My sister-in-law was keen to return to work so I took on the care of her two children and enjoyed this nurturing existence until Adam started at nursery school aged 3.  A friend persuaded me to join her at a nursery school in West Sussex and whilst working for her I trained to NVQ Level 3.

In 2003 I opened my own nursery school in the village where my children were at school.  We have just completed our 10th year at the Pavilion in Selborne.  The business continues to grow and thrive but I find as I get older and my children need me less that I wanted to do something for me.  

I chose to become a celebrant as a direct response to the loss of my own Father some five years ago.  He had lost faith with the Church and I wanted to create something very personal and individual for him that still brought comfort to my family.  We chose to bury Father privately on the farm and it was a moving and deeply spiritual experience.  My Mother planned a memorial service in our local Church which I know brought her comfort and was a fitting tribute.  It feels right to mix the secular with the more traditional celebration of a life well lived and I am proud of the send off that we gave him.

Cindy Groves - UKSC(M)

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