Coffin Club Celebrant-plus Training – All You Need to Know

Join our weekly Wednesday Celebrant-plus webinar at 6pm


Welcome to the Coffin Club Celebrant-plus Course blog… we guess you’re here as
you’re a funeral celebrant who’s thinking about doing things a bit differently. Offering
more choice and wider support to your clients and liberating yourself from the
restrictive funeral-director-as-gatekeeper model. We’re hoping this blog will give you
the insight you need to make a decision about whether joining the Coffin Club gang
of exemplary celebrants is the right thing for you.

What is Coffin Club Celebrant-plus Training (CPD accredited)?

Well, we suspect you’ve been having a little look at what we do, so you’ve probably
got the gist of it, as we spend all our time banging on about changing the face of
funerals, making sure funeral celebrants are properly valued (not just financially but
in terms of the incredibly important work they do, too) and breaking free of the
funeral-director-as-gatekeeper model by marketing directly to your community. And
that, in a nutshell, is what the training is all about!

We will give you everything you could possibly hope to know about dying, death and
final farewells to get you up to absolute funeral-expert status. With that in your back
pocket, we’ll guide you in how to promote yourself as the local go-to funeral expert
and how to change your model of getting clients from FD-driven to direct. Three-
quarters of our clients (as Kate and Kate Celebrants) come to us directly, the other
quarter ask for us specifically via the FD. So, yes, that’s correct that leaves NO
clients coming to us as the FD’s go-to celebrants. Does that mean we don’t work?
No siree! We’re as busy as we’d like to be and charge what we think we are worth –
with no FD looking over our shoulders.


About a quarter of our farewellings are in alternative settings & we definitely feel we have the freedom to work as creatively as we like. And, that’s what we want for you.


About a quarter of our farewellings are in alternative settings & we definitely feel we have the freedom to work as creatively as we like. And, that’s what we want for you.


We have over thirty years of conducting ceremonies, between us, and we have
always endeavoured to be exemplary in everything we do as we have built a successful celebrant business
and, not only that, we created as we saw how limited most
funeral offerings were and we knew they could be (and should be) better. From that,
we launched Coffin Clubs around the country to educate people about the choices
available to them and then, we started training funeral celebrants to expand their
practice and offer a full range of options and, from that, our celebrant training ‘from
scratch’ was born.

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 the reward of making a
really difficult situation just a little bit better.


If being a funeral celebrant (plus!) is something you really really are called to… we’d love to help you realise your dream.


Does it matter who I did my initial celebrant training with?

Nu-uh… we have celebrants join us who have trained with all the other training
organisations. We have found that, usually, that initial training has been really great
and celebrants are well prepared for FD-as-gatekeeper-model and the 30-minutes
up-the-crem approach. We can then help you take a step up to the next level and
become a Celebrant-plus.

We will teach you the role of the truly independent celebrant, how to work alongside
funeral directors as well as flying solo, 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 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-employed person.

Can I be anywhere on my celebrant journey to do this training?

We find that the celebrants that come onto this course tend to fall into four
categories (don’t worry if you’re not in a category – that just makes you
fabulously unique!).

1. Newly-trained funeral celebrants who feel a sense of resistance to going
cap-in-hand to FDs. They feel it already puts them on the back-foot, that it
makes it instantly appear that they work for FDs rather than for families/other
clients. They are already aware that they want to be able to offer more than
single-slot crematorium, templated ceremonies.

2. Celebrants who’ve been working for a year or two and, despite their
best efforts at ingratiating themselves with their local FDs, their phone never
rings. They feel at a crossroads – give up or find a new way of working. Thank
goodness they haven’t given up!

3. Celebrants who’ve had a time of being the go-to, or at least got enough
work off their local FDs to make some sort of living and then, for some reason,
not always known to them – the phone has stopped ringing. They’ve rung
round and asked why –  got the usual… ‘everyone wants a vicar’ ‘it’s very quiet
at the moment’ ‘people have asked for their chosen celebrant’. We know that
this has been extremely damaging to some of our celebrant’s mental health
(and we don’t say that lightly) the only way to ‘win’ at this game is not to play it

4. The fairly successful go-to who is getting the funerals but still not
getting the feeling of satisfaction that working in an authentic and creative way
brings. They may still be struggling to make a living, despite taking on a
number of funerals, and realise that in order to make more money they will
have to do more and more funerals – this will lead to lower production values –
thus serving themselves and families poorly and risking burn-out.

Are any qualifications required to embark on this course?

No qualifications are required but our expectation is that you have already completed
training as a funeral celebrant. There is a degree of assumed knowledge about
funerals that you won’t have if you haven’t done any funeral celebrant training. If you
are thinking of becoming a funeral celebrant, and haven’t yet trained, the course for
you is our fantastic, Funeral Celebrant Training (which provides you with a solid
foundation and then incorporates this course).

What Does Our Coffin Club Celebrant-plus course Include?

Six-module Celebrant-plus course:

Participants will:
● Understand the different options available for conventional and alternative
● Understand the laws/practicalities around the place of death/care of the body
● Understand the different working practices 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 Mindset.
● 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 other venue
● Understand the value of families taking ownership

In addition there is

● A comprehensive accompanying handbook.
● Monthly live-via-Zoom tutorials
● 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. We will also do a ‘meet the celebrant post’ about you on Coffin Club social media.

Meet one of our Celebrant-plus Celebrants


Need to Know More ?

Join us for our Weekly Discovery Webinar – every Wednesday at 6pm via
Zoom. If you can’t make Wednesdays please drop us a line at and we’ll see if we can fit you in another time.
Or, go to to sign up for our newsletter.

How Does It Work?

The course is six video modules, you have no time limit on starting or finishing and
you have the videos for life, so can refer back to them whenever you like. There’s a
supporting handbook – which we’re told is a really brilliantly supportive resource.
There 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. These are great to answer any questions you may have
and to connect with other students too.

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 6 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 a final assignment 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!

What will happen to my relationship with my local Funeral Directors ?

OK, now’s the time we get real with you. We know turning your back on the funeral-
director-as-gatekeeper model is scary… we see the ‘what if I never work again?’ look
in celebrants’ eyes! We are not offering you a get-rich-quick scheme, we are
suggesting that, like with any other self-employed business, you grow your business
and your reputation, over time, and that, through providing service that is second-to-none and knowledge that is exemplary, you will become the go-to funeral expert in your area.
We want to give you realistic expectations and what we expect for you is nothing
more than we expect for ourselves. We have grown a very successful celebrant
business whilst not expecting a single funeral-director-as-gatekeeper booking.

If you’re new and haven’t established relationships with your local FDs you have
nothing to lose, if you’re some way down the line and are finding it increasingly
difficult to get work via FDs you have nothing to lose. So, it’s only if you’re the go-to
that you may worry about loss of work/income… but, think what, over time, you’ll be
gaining. You will be able to charge what you like, offer a much broader range of end-
of-life events, and be in control of your own destiny. Only you will know when you are
ready to take the leap. But, when you are… we’re here for you… and we can’t begin
to tell you how liberating it feels to embrace a truly authentic way of working!
Here’s what our celebrant Dawn has to say about being a Coffin Club Celebrant-plus


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.

Kate Tym and Kate Dyer are celebrants in their own rights and the founders of Coffin
Club UK, an 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 have also been nominated for Best Funeral Support and Celebrant of
the Year at the 2024 Good Funeral 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!

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