Making progress, growing, serving, living life to the full

Apr 07, 2021

Three years ago I had a dream: to create the best celebrant training and support organisation I could. I didn’t want to be the biggest or the flashiest or the cheapest or the most expensive. I just wanted it to be the best I could make it.
We built a small team and we ran our first course in July 2018. Since then we’ve grown and changed. We’re the largest trainer of celebrants in Europe, we’ve launched our courses in the USA, we’ve learned how to teach online, to survive through Covid and stay connected to one another. We’ve become a tribe, a family, of passionate celebrants from the Middle East and the shores of the Persian Gulf all the way around the world to the West coast of America and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. We’re one of the largest groups of celebrants in the world and you, each of you, are a vital member of that tribe. Without you there wouldn’t be this supportive family that it is my joy and privilege to be part of. We’re all so grateful to you for the trust you’ve placed in us to help so many of you launch your celebrancy careers. Especially this of you who’ve joined during the last 12 months of training on line during the pandemic.
As the staff team has grown and evolved we’ve been able to expand our offering. Our main training course was always world class and it gets better all the time. We’ve got some new things that will be added for free to your membership and we’ll be updating you on these in the next few weeks.
Lots of you have been asking us to run extra sessions and CPD on things like social media and specialist marketing. We’re working on a complete curriculum of online and in-person training to help you develop your business and your craft. Speaking of the craft... Jacqueline ran a survey recently to see what subjects people wanted us to cover and creative writing was one of the top requests. There will be online and in-person events, starting soon, to help you develop your skills an lots of areas and I’m so grateful to all the team for their hard work and dedication to supporting the whole family of celebrants, both those of you who trained with us and those of you who trained elsewhere but have chosen to make your Celebrancy home with us.
In the U.K. finding somewhere suitable to train celebrants has always been a challenge. One of the things that most hotel and conference centres lack is privacy and another is space. As celebrants we touch on difficult subjects and this can be made harder during training if there are other customers walking around the building. ... we’ve found a solution! From July onwards we’ll have our own private venue: The U.K. National Celebrancy Training & Retreat Centre. Set in a national park and area of outstanding natural beauty, with its own teaching rooms, accommodation, indoor and outdoor spaces (it even has its own forest glades for handfasting training) this venue will take our initial training and our ongoing training to the next level. For those of you who’ve commented on the lack of a bar at Elim?... the new place has two bars! We hope to welcome all of you to the new home of the tribe over the coming months.
I’ve used the word tribe quite a bit and that’s been deliberate. Human beings are a tribal species. We like to be able to identify ourselves in a group and you all have chosen to identify yourselves with this tribe. The group of professional celebrants working hard to bring excellent rites of passage to families, to meet these families where they are and help them celebrate love. Even “car shares” have become a thing in our tribe! You might prefer to use the word “family” and maybe that is a better term. I’m trying to be explicitly inclusive.
Many of you will have heard me say this before... celebrancy is all about celebrating love. It’s who we are and it is what we do. We celebrate the love a family have for a new baby as they name that child. We celebrate the love a community has for a young person as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. We celebrate the love a couple have for one another as they get married and then the love they have for their children as they arrive. Vow renewals and other ceremonies continue to celebrate love and finally, at the end of someone’s life we celebrate our love for them at their funeral.
And this is at the core of who we are: we’re professional celebrants who are serious about meeting families where they are and helping them celebrate love in all of the traditional rites of passage and all the many other rites. At the same time we’re serious about caring properly for ourselves. This has been an almost heretical view in the celebrancy industry: talking about the business side of who we are and what we do.
As professional celebrants become established, whether full time or part time, as the industry and our profession matures, the amateurs will fall by the wayside.
We’ve been thinking very hard about who we are as a community, as a tribe and as people. What is our identity? Around the world almost every name that can be applied to a group of celebrants has already been used. We are an international family now, we train new celebrants and, increasingly, we support and up skill existing celebrants, we’re also a community of people who believe in what we do. So we’ve decided that, given the announcements about the new centre, together with the new resources and courses, and a few other important announcements we’ll be making in the next couple of months, we’ve decided it is time for a change of name and branding to better represent who we are, what we do and what we believe. From today we’ll become known as the International College of Professional Celebrants. One global tribe serving families wherever they are in the world. And before you ask... the new logos and materials are available for you to download and use from the file store.
This is a really exciting time for all of us and we’re so glad to have every one of you with us on this journey.