Hugh Milsom

Funeral Celebrant

“Funerals that reflect your loved one’s beliefs and wishes…

Conducted with dignity,

sincerity and integrity.”

The changing nature of modern funerals

Funerals can provide an opportunity to publicly express the different feelings and emotions that well up when a loved one dies; it may well recognise the grief of the family’s loss, maybe his or her understanding of the meaning of life and death but more importantly may provide an opportunity to tell the loved one’s story and show the love that still remains.

Funeral practices in the UK have undergone remarkable changes in the last few years; there has been a clear shift away from the impersonal, standardised and religiously led funeral services of the past. This positive move is away from what the Church dictates as more and more of the population have very little – if anything – to do with organised religion. Most people now are not affiliated to a particular religion. They are unaffiliated, but they still have their own beliefs and their own outlook on life. Modern funerals allows the grieving family a wider range of options that were unheard of 10 years ago.

Most aspects of today’s funeral ceremony come down to personal choice; families may well take an active role in choosing the music and readings and may wish to speak about the person who has died. The primary task of the funeral professional today is to assist families in creating a funeral that fully reflects the person’s nature and personality.

“It was the most beautiful funeral I have ever been to.

I was so proud of the send off we gave my Dad.”

An unaffiliated service

In the unaffiliated service – that is a non-church service – the main focus is primarily on the life, beliefs, values and character of the person who has died. The family and friends can participate in any aspect of the preparation and holding of the ceremony should they wish to. In fact participation is encouraged.

Perhaps several people will talk about them, or there may be open spontaneous sharing. Personal objects and photographs may be present, the music and readings carefully chosen as favourites or to reflect the life and beliefs of the person who has died.

The ceremony is often held in a Crematorium but remains equally valid in a community hall or perhaps even the family home – the room decorated in a particular, personal style perhaps. It’s a choice the family can make.


Hugh is a well-known local family man who has always been an active member of the local community over the many years he has lived in Blunsdon near Swindon. He left his successful career in TV engineering some years ago as he felt called to concentrate on pastoral care and community support.

More recently Hugh has worked as a Community Worker and, for a few years as a Lay Minister in the Church, helped many families get through the grief of bereavement and loss. He is keenly aware of the support and help a family need when organising and arranging a funeral and has conducted many such services in Church, Chapel, Crematoria and at the Graveside.

In this new chapter of his life as a trained Funeral Celebrant Hugh started his independent celebrancy in December 2012 and has been in great demand ever since. He is eager that the people of Swindon and the surrounding areas have the opportunity of providing their loved ones with funerals to cherish – funerals that are relevant, memorable and heart-felt.

“Just to thank you again for making a very difficult time much more bearable.”

A unique, moving & personal ceremony

Hugh meets with the family – often in their own home; here he takes the time to listen to the family and friends in order to get a true sense of the person who has been lost and make sure that he or she rightfully takes centre stage for the last time. He composes a beautiful, individual ceremony that will be both the celebration of a distinctive life and the tender mourning of a loss.

Hugh will help the family to find readings and music and other personal touches that make the funeral special.
Together he and the family will create a moving, memorable service that truly reflects the beliefs of the deceased and their family member. Under his gentle guidance Hugh’s funeral will successfully mark a significant event – the end of a unique life, the loss of a loved person, the crossing of a threshold. This singular event will be created with care, will weave together the colourful strands of a life, express the true nature of the person and give voice to the loss felt by the community and all those who loved the one who has died.

Many people now are looking for a more personal funeral experience yet still value and appreciate a sense of sacred ritual to mark the end of a life and possibly the transition of spirit – a funeral with heart and soul based on the person’s culture and lifestyle. It is important that each funeral is both a celebration of a life and the mourning of a loss, and contains a sense of the sacred and ritual. Hugh is an ideal choice to conduct your loved one’s funeral.

“Thank you once again for all of your help, wisdom and guidance at the funeral of my Mother.”


Hugh has completed extensive training with Green Fuse and is now fully accredited and a member of the Green Fuse guild.
The Green Fuse Funeral Training Company’s belief is that “it is truly a rare gift to be with a family at their time of grief, to help them turn an often traumatic and difficult time into one of transformation and healing”.

A Green Fuse trained Celebrant, such as Hugh, will respect individual views and spiritual beliefs, and compose and conduct an appropriate, well-structured and imaginative ceremony, right from the heart. He will provide the family with a safe pair of hands, listen to them carefully, treat them with warmth and kindness, and inspire them towards the best funeral they can have for their loved person – one that is moving and memorable, something to cherish always.

A short video about Green Fuse trained funeral celebrants

“Thank you so much for the beautiful eulogy. You led a very moving and uplifting service. Your words will bring back many memories.”