Welcome to my profile page. My name is Hilary Wallis and I am an experienced Funeral Celebrant, my knowledge of the funeral business through family connections being complemented by my United Kingdom Society of Celebrants (UKSC) training. I live in Bury St Edmunds, having moved to Suffolk from London & Surrey where I held senior roles in Human Resources in the public and charitable sectors over a 30 year career.
An early retiree with time available and a desire to help others, I chose to train and specialise as a Funeral Celebrant because I regard the end of a life as a deeply momentous occasion which is completely different from any other celebration. Through the funeral planning process, we all have an opportunity, whether or not we knew the deceased person, to reflect on the meaning of life and love, the passing of time and how to come to terms with the loss of a unique human being. It can be a time for spiritual reflection or for pragmatism as each person has their own way of dealing with grief.
I have a lifetime’s experience of working with people going through change, sometimes in traumatic and unwelcome circumstances such as redundancy and serious illness. Known for my empathy and care when handling sensitive situations, my interest in people took me to the Human Resources Director role at Citizens Advice in London. Citizens Advice is, of course, very well regarded for helping people in need or even in crisis situations.
With a degree in Social Psychology from the LSE and professional skills in interviewing, facilitating groups, organising and running training events and public speaking, I bring professionalism, sensitivity and negotiating skills to help those who have been bereaved and who may be in a state of shock and grief, to create and deliver a plan to remember and celebrate the life of their loved one.
WHY USE ME AS YOUR FUNERAL CELEBRANT?
For many people, appointing a Vicar or Priest to lead their funeral service is inappropriate, especially if they have not been regular attendees. As a trained and experienced Funeral Celebrant, I offer a bespoke service ascertaining and reflecting your wishes taking account of what is possible within the time and setting of the ceremony. If you wish to include hymns, that’s fine. If you wish to include music, that is no problem. If you want help in choosing poems or readings from literature I can help you find the pieces that will add that extra touch. I see my role as facilitator and guide, not dictator, happy to take a minor or a major role on the day whilst always ensuring that the event runs smoothly and meaningfully. In short, by getting to know you and your wishes and by liaising with your Funeral Director as required, I can design, write and support, lead or just guide you through a service to be remembered. I will spend as long as it takes to ensure that your wishes are met.