Leading Celebrant welcomes review of Grimsby Crematorium charges

THE BARTON-based chairman of a leading UK Celebrant organisation has welcomed moves to review charging policies at Grimsby Crematorium.

Philip Spicksley trained as a professional celebrant when he retired from Humberside Police, after a 30-year career that saw him rise to senior officer level.

Now Executive Chairman of the Association of Independent Celebrants, (AOIC), Philip conducts scores of funeral services, both non and semi-religious, for families across the region and is a regular visitor to Grimsby Crematorium. Latest figures reveal that 95 per cent of all funeral services in the Humber region are now conducted by Celebrants, as people select to say farewell with services that are more personal and individual.

Philip was shocked to read last week’s story about sisters Hayley James and Mandy Pinney who were handed a £200 fine for returning to the crematorium to say a final farewell to their dad Terry James after the service had ended. In doing so they went over their 40-minute slot by just 48 seconds and it was the last funeral of the day.

The story, which attracted national attention with BBC radio star Jeremy Vine describing the incident as ‘unbelievable’, has seen North East Lincolnshire Council pledge to review its policies.

Supporting the council’s move, Philip said: “Clearly there is always a balance to be struck between allowing time for grieving relatives to say goodbye and ensuring the smooth running of a crematorium.

“It is the job of professionals, whether they are the Celebrant or minister conducting the service, the Funeral Director or those managing the Crematorium, to find that right balance, or indeed be guided in the right way. If North East Lincolnshire Council is looking to provide guidelines that clear up any possible confusion and ease distress for families then it must be welcomed,” he added.

In an effort to support the families its members work with, the AOIC nationally, under Philip’s guidance has started a new service offering professional grief and support counselling. It has partnered with Professional Help Limited to offer AOICGriefChat’ and ‘AOICSupport’ which is available for Celebrant members and their clients free of charge.

For more on the AOIC go to

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