Welcome to the Coffin Club Funeral Celebrant Training blog… we guess you’re here as
you’re thinking about a career change. We’re hoping this blog will give you the insight you
need into this amazing, challenging, fulfilling and, sometimes, tough role, to make a
decision whether it’s right for you or not.
Well, we suspect you’ve all been to a funeral at some time in your life… it may have been in
a church, or other place of worship, it may have been at the crematorium and be led by a
celebrant or, as is becoming more common, it may have taken place at a natural burial
ground, community centre, pub or posh hotel. Whatever type of funeral it was, there will
have, most likely, been someone presiding over proceedings and, you may have had that…
‘Wow, they’re really amazing, I would love to do that!’ moment. Or, sadly, as we often hear
it was more like a, ‘Wow, they were terrible… I could do so much better!’ vibe.
If you were lucky enough to see a really great celebrant doing their thing, we would imagine
they made it look easy. Totally in control of their surroundings, stage-managing the event,
speaking clearly and confidently, with a well-written, totally bespoke script. Taking
ownership, making everyone feel at ease and safe in their hands whilst also guiding them
through a well-written, meaningful, hopefully uplifting, service
What you haven’t seen is what goes on in the background – the researching, the writing,
the constant updating of knowledge and skills and, also, the self-employed aspect of this
job – the marketing, the promoting, the business building and effort required to get those
bookings… which is where we come in…
We have over thirty years of conducting ceremonies, between us, and we have always
endeavoured to be exemplary in everything we do as www.kateandkatecelebrants.co.uk
We have built a successful celebrant business
and, not only that, we created
www.coffinclub.co.uk as we saw how limited
most funeral offerings were and we knew they
could be better. From that we launched Coffin
Clubs around the country to educate people
around the choices available to them.
Then, we started training funeral celebrants to expand their practise – our Celebrant-plus
and offer a full range of options and, from that, our Funeral celebrant training ‘from scratch’
Our training is unique. We are the only funeral celebrant training organisation that
champions celebrants in their own right, not as a side-kick to the funeral director. We
believe celebrants are the beating heart of a funeral service and that they have the power to
make funerals the best they can be. We encourage you to think long and hard about
becoming a funeral celebrant – the weight of responsibility, the personal toll and the often-
challenging nature of the job. But also consider the difference you can make, the support
and confidence you can bring, and reward of making a really difficult situation just a little bit
If being a funeral celebrant (plus!) is something you really really are called to… we’d love to
help you realise your dream.
We will teach you the role of the celebrant, how to work alongside funeral directors as well
as entirely independently, how to support your bereaved (or perhaps terminally ill) clients
and how to create amazing, meaningful and memorable ceremonies. We are the only
training organisation that then also provides full training for funerals that take place outside
of the usual settings, where the celebration of life is separated from the burial or cremation.
We fully recognise the value of celebrants in changing the face of funerals and encourage
you to really think outside the box (pun intended!). Not only that but we will look at the
business side of your career – how to market and grow and organise yourself as a self-
Well, the short answer is … none!! The laws around funerals are very relaxed – both
celebrants and funeral directors are not actually required to have any formal qualifications.
That said, we wouldn’t recommend you embark on either career without undertaking some
proper training. There are loads of training organisations out there now – many of which
offer absolutely excellent courses – but we recommend you do your research before
jumping on as some are better than others. We have had our courses CPD Accredited by
the CPD Certification Service because we felt it was important that we held ourselves up to
external scrutiny and had our courses rigorously assessed to ensure they really are as
good as we think they are!
What Does Our Course Include?
It’s broken into two sections:
1. Foundation training
2. Celebrant-plus training
Our foundation training is exactly that – looking at the corner-stones of funeral celebrant
work and building a framework of solid foundations so that you can have the confidence to
open up your practice to more choice and creativity. The Celebrant-plus training then looks
at that – being the kind of funeral celebrant that can support your clients to have the kind of
farewelling that is right for them, no matter what that might be.
● Understand what a funeral is and who it is for
● Understand the role of a celebrant
● Understand the role of the funeral director (FD)
● Understand the journey of a funeral script and why it works
● Understand how a family meeting runs and why this is important·
● Recognise how the nature or circumstances of a death may affect your approach
● Learn about more challenging funerals (suicide, baby, child, young person, double,
troubled, alcoholic/addict, disliked, traumatic death) and how to facilitate these
● Understand the five ‘Ps’ of public speaking
● Get to grips with the choreography of a service
● Consider potential problems that may arise and how to resolve them
● Understand the different options available for conventional and alternative funerals
● Understand the laws/practicalities around the place of death/care of the body
● Understand the different working practises of funeral directors and that we work with
FDs not FOR them
● Understand all the additional service providers needed in creating a funeral
● Understand how to market themselves directly to the public and address Money
● Be made aware of different types of ceremonies available to their clients
● Understand what different elements of content can bring to a funeral service
● Know how to stage-manage a ceremony – whether at the crematorium, graveside or
● Understand the value of families taking ownership
Thirteen-video-modules with two comprehensive accompanying handbooks. Monthly live-
via-Zoom tutorials and access to our closed Facebook Celebrant-plus group for additional
support. On completion you get a lovely certificate, use of our celebrant-plus logo on all
your marketing materials, website and social media, and a listing on our celebrant directory.
The Funeral Celebrant training course
The course is 13 video modules (seven are the foundation course and six are the
celebrant-plus course), you have no time limit on starting or finishing and you have the
videos for life, so you can refer back to them whenever you like. There are two supporting
handbooks – which we’re told are a really brilliantly supportive resource. Added to these are
monthly live-via-Zoom tutorials that you can jump on as often as you like – there’s no limit to
how many times you attend – so if you need a bit of human-being support, we’re there for
you. Additionally, you get immediate access to our closed FB group – another place you can
get support from us and also from your peers – it’s a really lovely space with lots of like-
minded guys and gals all rooting for each other. The video modules are on a private
YouTube channel so you don’t need to download anything – you just click on the link to
play. The modules range from 45 mins to 1.5 hours so it’s around 13 hours-ish, plus,
obviously, reading time, and time to complete exercises and assignments. Some people
binge watch and yomp their way through… others are slow and steady – either way is fine!
There are interactive exercises along with assignments that you need to submit for
feedback and, our trainees tell us, you feel robustly supported every single step of the way.
Why have we gone for online training over residential?
Well, we used to provide our training live in situ… but, it was restrictive for lots of attendees
as it required them to be available at a certain time and in a certain place. By taking the
course online, we’ve made it accessible to everyone whatever their time availability or
geographic location. We have been able to create additional expert resources as, rather
than having to ask other funeral experts to keep turning up, we’ve been able to produce
video content that can be viewed again and again without them being there.
We feel we give you the best of both worlds as, whilst you may not be physically training
with other people, we offer you a really supportive virtual community through our Facebook
group and face-to-face tutorial with Kate and Kate.
We have also managed to keep the price of our course competitive as online training is
more cost-effective for us than a residential course and more cost-effective for you as you
don’t have any travel or accommodation costs.
Some of our students have told us that they weren’t huge fans of online training until they
took our courses!
OK, now’s the time we get real with you. We look at other training organisation’s websites
and we see, in this bit of their spiel, they bandy about figures from £30,000 per year
(potentially achievable) to £100k+ (absolute fiction). We’re going to start by saying that this
is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Like setting up any business you’re aren’t going to hit the
ground running income-wise, you will need to consistently market yourself, grow your
community and your reputation and build over time – engagement is at the heart of what
you do. As a rule of thumb, most new businesses don’t become profitable until year three.
You will have times when you think you’re never going to get enough funerals to make a
living and then you will have times when, like buses, they all come at once. And, over time,
you will grow to a level of work that suits you and suits the way you work. We’re not going
to make any false promises about vast wealth and early retirement! We’re going to be
honest and say that what you put in you’ll get out and that we really believe that, through
our training, you will have the best chance of building a sustainable business that has a
solid enough foundation to grow from and a realistic set of goals and expectations.
Most funeral celebrants working through the funeral-director-as-gatekeeper model have
unsustainably low fees (£200-£250 per ceremony @2024). We don’t adhere to that model –
as independent celebrants you are self-employed and we strongly encourage you to charge
what you are worth – certainly no less than £350-£600 per ceremony (@2024). We
encourage you to value yourself both in terms of the job you do and financially and we
support you to find the level of fee and the amount of work that works for you. No false
promises of wealth beyond your wildest dreams – just honest expectations.
We have had our courses CPD Accredited by the CPD Certification Service because we felt
it was important that we held ourselves up to external scrutiny and had our courses
rigorously assessed to ensure they really are as good as we think they are!
Some other trainers offer the National Open College Network (NOCN) qualification – which
provides an additional level of external accreditation. We have chosen not to offer this for
now as it’s more expense for you and, having done thorough research into it, we can’t see
how it really adds any benefit to you. We have yet to come across a celebrant who has
been asked to show this qualification.
Join us for our Weekly Discovery Webinar – every Wednesday at 7.15pm via Zoom – Book
on here If you can’t make Wednesdays please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll see if we can fit you in another time.
Or, go to www.coffinclub.co.uk to sign up for our newsletter.
Kate Tym and Kate Dyer are celebrants in their own rights and the founders of Coffin Club
UK, and organisation dedicated to funeral education, funeral choice and basically just
making funerals better! They have, themselves won, Celebrant of the Year at the 2019
Good Funeral Awards, have won an award for Influencing the Wider Profession of Funeral
Celebrants at the Celebrant Convention in 2018, have twice won Best Funeral Information
Provider at the Good Funeral Awards in 2022 and 2023 and won the Death Advocates
award at the 2023 Advantages of Age Awards.
They are known as the voice of funeral celebrants as they have made it their mission to
champion funeral celebrants across the UK and globally
Viva la funeral revolucion!