Media release: Funeral skills training – free places

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Better goodbyes: funeral skills training

Skills for life, to lead a funeral, to become a celebrant

  • 12 May, 10-4 Glasgow
  • 19 May, 10-4 Zoom
  • 2 June, 10-4 Glasgow

2-6 May is Dying Matters Awareness Week.

This year’s hashtag is #inagoodplace. 

TO promote being in a good place when it comes to the end of life, A Quiet Revolution, a Scottish charity, is running funeral skills training in Glasgow over three days in May-June, to train enthusiastic learners to confidently plan and lead a funeral. 

We’re interested in training creatives – performers, writers, poets and people who are under-represented: unwaged people, people of colour, trans people, people with disabilities – anyone who needs help with the costs of training. 


Book a place online:

To ask about subsidy, please contact Barbara Chalmers: or call 07789564775.

Help others get a better goodbye

Most of us only plan one or two funerals in our life, so we don’t get expert at it. We can help you grow knowledge and skills to: 

  • Feel confident when someone dies and it’s your turn to take charge;
  • Craft and shape a ceremony;
  • Lead a funeral for family or friends; and
  • Become a celebrant.

What you’ll get out of it

This is a safe space to explore life and death issues around funerals. Lean how to transform a funeral by bringing yourself and others to the task of crafting a ritual with confidence and knowledge.

  • What ritual is – and how much richer our rituals could be;
  • The poetry of specificity … the importance of tiny details;
  • Shifting atmospheres in a ceremony;
  • Using and managing yourself, your body and voice in ceremony; and
  • Working with families and groups to co-create a funeral.

Skills for life 

DAY one

  • Understand the role of funerals in society and the rules and options;
  • Knowledge, skills and confidence to organise a funeral;
  • Safe space to explore life and death issues around funerals; and
  • Understand how to co-create unique and meaningful ceremonies.

Skills to lead a funeral 

DAY two

  • Skills, tips and resources for crafting scripts;
  • Funerals for very different scenarios; and
  • Tips for delivery and ‘performance’.

Skills for a vocation 

DAY three

  • On-site practice in a venue used for funerals;
  • Constructive feedback from practising celebrants; and
  • All you need to explore a new vocation as a celebrant.

On completion of the course, there’s potential to join A Quiet Revolution’s supportive network of celebrants.

Who is the course for?

This course is perfect if you:

  • Want to be better equipped to shape a funeral;
  • Prefer to be in choice in life;
  • Are interested in ritual;
  • Are keen to learn and grow; and
  • Are ready for change.

You should be:

  • A good listener: empathic and open to difference;
  • A good communicator: written, spoken, unsaid;
  • Able to present well;
  • Good at building meaningful relationships;
  • Person-centred; and
  • Share our Humanist values. (Not sure? Do the quiz.)


The course leaders will work together as a team over the three days learning. All are celebrants affiliated to the charity, A Quiet Revolution. Between them, the three have decades of experience leading, designing, crafting, holding, connecting, presenting.

Barbara Chalmers is founder/CEO of A Quiet Revolution. She is currently leading a creative team to develop a film about the ‘herstory’ of women’s samba in Scotland for the charity. 

She is a consultant, creative producer, social entrepreneur and celebrant. She works with clients in the arts, public sector and third sector bringing skills in strategy, planning, service design, user experience and ethnography to develop business. She is a director of DGUnlimited, the south-west of Scotland’s arts network.

Barbara has a double award-winning Masters in Design Innovation from Glasgow School of Art, focussing her outputs on transforming 21st Century Funerals. She innovated the UK’s first platform for end-of-life planning, Final Fling, introduced among the first ‘death cafes’ to Scotland and is a qualified funeral director. She is a director of Caledonian Cremations, understood to be Scotland’s only not-for-profit funeral director. She is qualified in Counselling Skills, Life Coaching and Executive Coaching.

Jude Williams – Is an independent performing artist and celebrant with A Quiet Revolution. Creative director of The Letter J, vocal and creative coach – facilitating workshops in many spheres – inviting folks to show up in their voice, body and bodies of work. His work is rooted in a love of life’s wild beauty – relationships, connections, community and transformation. 

His journey with celebrancy began [as it often does] when death came calling – losing loved ones in quick succession. Wishing to become part of the answer to these questions – how can we do death better?

Where’s the loving line in storytelling to honour those gone and those going on? What’s the rightful intersection of tone, atmosphere, performance, and ritual? How can I bring my creative/collaborative experience to the funeral space? How may standing closer to the reality of death invite us to be kinder in life?

Yva McKerlich comes from a background in language and literature and is passionate about the telling of stories in our milestone moments. Having worked for 15 years in the education sector as an English teacher and teaching mentor, Yva now applies her skills in a full-time celebrant role and, having conducted over 700 ceremonies to date, has extensive experience in end of life storytelling. Her path to celebrancy began with personal experience of leading a family funeral and she believes absolutely that the right words at the right time can create rituals with meaning and with joy. 

Yva’s experience as a volunteer chaplain with the Marie Curie Hospice Team has given her an important insight into end of life planning and the importance of ownership in ceremonies to celebrate a life. Having worked with people from all walks of life, Yva strives to empower people to embrace the richness in their own stories and create funerals which truly celebrate life’s journeys.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by A Quiet Revolution. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

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A Quiet Revolution contact details…

Contact: Barbara Chalmers
Phone: 07789564775