As religious and humanist funeral services fall in popularity The Institute of Civil Funerals has grown in strength, size and influence over the last eight years with members carrying out over 20,000 funerals in that time. The IoCF run an annual conference where they invite specialists, analysts and achievers. Speakers ranging from atheists to theists will obviously have differing views, thus forcing delegates to weigh things up for themselves, ask questions and think. In 2008 I was invited to speak on motorcycle funerals as I am the expert in that field. This was a real honour, went down well and I thought that was the end of that, so to find myself invited as Keynote speaker in 2012 knocked me over. It would be pointless telling the best civil celebrants in the UK how to take a service, but what I could do was help them with ‘The Faster Pastor’s Pastoral Tips’. People who don’t know The Lord asking for a non-religious funeral service makes perfect sense, but it does take them away from an environment of pastoral guidance and care, so it is vital the celebrants they turn to learn all they can about pastoring.
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