Budget funerals(death without pomp and ceremony )

Celebrating life not death
( why a celebration of life without a traditional funeral may be appropriate )
For some people church , ceremony , family tradition and various other reasons make a traditional ceremony in a recognised building the most appropriate way to give thanks for the life of the deceased .

But buildings , ritual , ceremony ( and the connected expenses ) are not for everyone .

I’m paraplegic , and write now with the para Olympics , people , even total strangers keep asking me what my sport is . I don’t have one , I’m not sporty . In the same way not all wheelchair users are para Olympians , I have been pondering recently the concept that not all deaths need result in a funeral .

What then do we do with the body ( I’m sure some nihilists long for yet another coloured bag from the council , in which the dead can be put out on rubbish collection day ) . whoever we are , however our life has gone , their is an energy in life that seems to cry out for celebration within death .

I don’t want to dwell on the financial implications , so let’s just say a direct funeral , where there is no ceremony at the crematorium or anywhere else will cost you roughly half what a ceremonial based funeral will cost . So somewhere downwards approximately of £2000 pounds .
With this the emphasis shifts to celebration and this could take place anywhere or no where , with or without words . Gathered round the juke box in a favourite pub or looking out to sea at a familiar family spot . It may however be a huge deal , a party , a festival , a bike rally or the annual caravan club convention . What it won’t be is conventional , anything but , no somber suits , no uncomfortable behaviour .

As an experienced celebrant I work with you to achieve a celebration of life that resonates deeply with the deceased and their life experiences . Effectively you are employing me for a brief period around the death of your loved one, to manage planning and delivering a celebration of their life, at a time when you may be hurting and energy levels are low . It may also be appropriate that I offer ongoing support through the bereavement process in some instances and we can explore this further .

You may be puzzled as to what happens with the body . Simply put , arrangements will be made for it to be collected from your home by a funeral director , and taken in a simple and dignified way to the crematorium , to be cremated at an undisclosed time slot with no friends or relatives present . The ashes will then be made available to the next of kin to collect .

Again as your celebrant , I will work with you to help you decide the what , when and where to do with the ashes . I can plan an occasion as simple or complex as you like to appropriately and enjoyably scatter or burry these earthly remains . This may happen at the same time as the celebration of the decease ‘s life or possibly on another occasion , weeks , months or even years into the future .

The important thing here is the freedom of choice and the freedom from tradition . My primary role is to be alongside and support you as the next of kin through the journey of bereavement . To help you find words or silence , pictures and music , places and people to gather together into a colourful celebration of all that it has ever meant to have lived .

Selective mute

selective mutes are intelligent gifted people . Over the last 12 months I’ve worked very closely with three selective mutes on a one to one basis and with a group of four people two of whome are selective mute .

sometimes this condition goes hand in hand with neuro diversity , autistic spectrum , Down’s syndrome . Sometimes it’s a result of deep hurt and years of not being listened to , assumptions about your ability or intelligence . In one case I worked with a man who’d been institutionalised and treated with so little value that he’d been waiting 30 years in emotional turmoil without the tools to share what was in the depth of his mind and soul .

Solutions to selective mutism can be simple or complex . Simple permission to remain silent when you need or want to and to create a culture around you that respects that . Simple computer apps enabling text speak , simple cards to point at when words are note needed . Friendships , gestures , people who just know intuitively what you mean .

More complex solutions when I work with selective mutes from my base on Canvey island , at their location or via Skype , or venues in London , can include communication through music ( conversations via playing the piano work well ) . Art  from finger painting , to fine art , sculpture to vintage photography , build confidence , process thought and enable new forms of dialogue .

we use play , brats dolls and action men , make friends with the inner child . Find safe and comfortable and at times regressive leading to progressive methods of feeling safe and comfortable letting go of stress and anxiety ”  security blankets are metaphorical and physical , sometimes childlike and soft sometimes adult like and tough leather .

Commonly within three to six weeks I find my selective mute clients starting to use their voices as part of the journey of re exploring and re ordering their communication . The important part of my technique is choice . I don’t use behaviour modification therapy , I don’t force or manipulate , I offer tools and choice .

The tools I use with selective mutes also work well when supporting people with social  anxiety and other struggles such as eating disorder and various dysphorias .

Im lgbtqi friendly , BDSM aware , and non binary experienced .

Book life coaching art therapy and creative sessions by ringing 07786 652286

explore and book via my web site http://www.attitudetherapy.co.uk

email fralexgc@aol.com for an initial chat or consultation .


i offer professional chaplaincy and therapy services to the residential care sector and supported living projects in Essex and on Canvey island

Thanks for the feedback

I’ve had a great week developing art concepts for the conference and am greatful for the constructive feedback .

Its been a tough week of journey for several of  my clients as past events have interrupted there presence and threatened to cause upset .

we can’t undo the past and we can’t guarantee the future . That leaves us the massive yet worthy challenge of living in the monent.

This is an extra challenge when your living with autism , you hate unresolved and you obsesses about things .

shutdown is one consequence , meltdown another . Creating safe space , safe place and having safe people near to hand help hugely .

when you feel you are on the edge of the cliff and everybody is shouting at you to jump , to abseil down , and all you want is to be safe in your bed surrounded by velvet ….that

, that’s s one of those moments I can prepare you for .

we all deserve to be true to who we are , and live life to the full . That’s why I’m putting so much into the art for the living fully 2016 conference .


A place at the table for all

This gallery contains 21 photos.

Disabling David Enabling theology


This is A3 on card , disabling David , enabling theology …. An approach to the Vatican council for culture theology and disability conference . I’m wanting to auction it to fundraise to get disabled uk delegates to the conference . Message me bids over 100 pounds …. Or if you feel able to support the conference I can put you in touch with the organisers for more details .
It will be a humbling experience for the cardinals as worship each day will be lead by a group of people with complex intellectual difference / disability .

The conference takes place in Rome this june

Shopping Center Chaplain

imageIt’s a damp grey March day and I’m sat in my other office . Vue cinema lakeside has become a home from home. It’s comfortable chairs and tables make it the ideal venue to pause , reflect , pray and re energise myself . They also provide a wonderful meeting place to meet with and offer pastoral support to staff at all levels of this exiting shopping mall .

Over the last decade I’ve supported stressed santa’s coming off shift , security guards , managers , people on emotional rollacoasters gaining and losing jobs . Businesses relocating , starting up , winding up …. Mostly just ordinary people needing a bit of encouragement in the ordinary .

chaplaincy is faith neutral , multi faith , quite religious and proudly atheist all at once and as needed . It’s inclusive , affirming , more a listening ear than a problem solver . I enjoy being a creative sounding board .

lakeside staff looking for support can contact me on 07786 652286

or via e mail fralexgc@aol.com

please take time to look at my various links and see the services I can offer in both a professional and voluntary capacity .





I’ve found great joy in recent times ,reading , watching and listening to all things Sherlock Holmes , old and new .

Soul comapnion as soul detective , piecing together shared fragments of hope and experience in order to literally get to the heart of the matter and succeed at spiritual heart surgery or is that soul surgery .

ive spent the last six months exploring life through a series of art workshops with a group of people in there 50’s and 60’s with various differences and gifts . Down’s syndrome , autism etc .

weve been on a brilliant journey , painting and destroying past hurts , painting future hopes on canvas and enjoying seeing them on display . We’ve enjoyed re creating a thunderstorm with tin trays and watering cans in the kitchen of there residential home .

This amazing group understand each other , they interpret and have taught me to understand each other’s non verbal , helping me to interpret images and written words that are far from standard . The little group has lived together for nearly 30 years . They have held onto each other through traumatic experiences and now find themselves in a safe an well managed home .

I work with other non verbal clients and along side art , puppets ,play , and much crazy inventive behaviour , we use music , both listened to and created by ourselves in order to journey towards  peace with our souls . This doesn’t always mean healing in the conventional sense . It frequently means learning to love and cherish the very things about us that other people would want to fix , change , normalise .

im very exited as this summer I’m off to Rome , no mean feet for a paraplegic who has high dependency care needs. The Vatican council for culture is hosting a conference around theology and disability . They are also hosting a parallel programme for differently wired people ( what many professionals call intellectually disabled ,but I’m not happy with that term ) . I’m going to be involved with the planning and delivery of both programmes , this is a huge deal . I’m seeking prayer and sponsorship and can send full information to people on request .

As one of my big projects looks like it may run out of funding after Easter I have some openings for new regular clients . So do get in contact , be it for life coaching , spiritual direction or creative therapy , or indeed anything else I can support you with . X