The Faculty of Funeral Celebrants was founded on 1st January, 2019 by the Society of Bereavement Practitioners, under the presidency of the late Very Rev. Melvyn Occomore, as a specialist professional membership organisation for independent ministers and celebrants who include religious or spiritual elements as a core part of funeral and memorial services, and who are committed to the highest standards of ceremony preparation, delivery, bereavement care, support and ethical practice.


Membership or Fellowship of the Faculty represents a public commitment to these objectives as demonstrated by the use of the post-nominal letters MFFC or FFC, and being part of an association of like-minded colleagues.


Celebrants meeting these criteria are welcome to apply for Faculty membership, either as a stand-alone membership or in conjunction with SBP membership. Fellowship of the Faculty is in the gift of the Faculty Council only and can no longer be applied for directly.


Similarly, Humanist and solely non-religious or secular celebrants are not eligible for membership of the Faculty as there many professional organisations currently representing this valued and important area of celebrancy.


The Faculty Badge

On July 1st 2020 the Faculty of Funeral Celebrants introduced its official Ceremonial Badge. The badge, which replaces previous Faculty logos appears at the top of our webpage. It will hereafter be reproduced on all Faculty Certificates, letterheads, publications and any corporate branding. The symbolism of the Badge may be of interest to members and others:


The Badge is a pointed oval, or vesica shape, bearing the name of the organisation, often found in the mediaeval or gothic revival-style badges and seals of religious or spiritual organisations. The symbols in the centre represent:


1. flaming torch - the celebrant using their skill and compassion to guide bereaved people through the darkness of loss.

2. open book - the celebrant treating every funeral as unique; every person's story as unique: a two-way creative process shared between client and celebrant.

3. song bird - represents the importance of music at funeral and memorial services.

4. rose - represents flowers at a service, and also the skill of the celebrant helping enable a person's memory to flourish.


The scroll at the base of the torch contains the initials of the Faculty's founding body: the Society of Bereavement Practitioners, and the year of Foundation, 2019. Finally, the Faculty's colours are black and red to symbolise earth and fire; which of course, are self-explanatory.


Faculty Administration


The Faculty, which is fully part of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners, is administered by a small group of honorary officers:



Professor Jason Powell PhD FRSA HonFFC

Professor Jason Powell holds a visiting Chair in Social Gerontology and Sociology in the Department of Social and Political Science at The University of Chester. Professor Powell shares our commitment to excellent in bereavement care and funeral celebrancy.




Rev. Steve Cairnes FFC

Steve is minister of Wallsend Open Free Church, a qualified funeral director and a Tyneside religious funeral celebrant. He is a founder member of the Faculty and is committed to excellence in funeral celebrancy and pastoral care.



Rev. George Callander FFC



Mrs. Jackie Cairnes HonFFC






Mrs. Jackie Cairnes FFC (hon. caus.)
Rev. Steve Cairnes FFC
Rev. George Callander FFC
Andrew Fairweather FFC

Rev. David Hughes FFC
Rev. Martyn Jinks FFC
Colin Laidler FFC
Rev. Ashley Liddington FFC
Rev. Barbara McGregor FFC
Rev. Len Moreton FFC
Rev. Dennis Mould FFC
V. Rev. Mel Occomore FFC (✠ RIP September 2021)
Mervyn Pilley FFC
Rev. Fr. Glyn Shipton FFC
Prof. Jason Powell FFC (hon. caus.)

Dee Wheatley FFC
Rev. Terry Wright FFC
Peter Wyllie FFC





2019 - 2021: Very Reverend Melvyn John Occomore FFC

(Founding President: died in office)


2021 - : Reverend Stephen Cairnes FFC