Jennie Jones has a background in the health and disability sector, with a particular emphasis on bereavement and grief counselling. She is an experienced health educator, mentor, facilitator, clinical supervisor and senior programme manager of multi-disciplinary teams in the public, private and not for profit sectors. She has built a reputation as an insightful educator, strategic thinker, problem solver and change leader with a tenacious ability to front the hard issues and being results focused.
In the past, she has worked at Skylight (the national grief and loss centre) as national educator and practice manager. She has enjoyed being a celebrant for a number of years and combines a relaxed style with professional advice and support.
Her strengths are in listening to and respecting each family’s individual needs and wishes, and in crafting a service that is personal, all-embracing and which will provide your loved one with the memorable and moving send-off they deserve.
Graham has worked as a celebrant throughout the Wellington region since 1993. He has considerable experience (both personal and vocational) in coping with grief. Before his 30th birthday he suffered four significant bereavements. As a former minister, visiting hospital and prison chaplain, and bereavement care co-ordinator with the Te Omanga Hospice he was in frequent support of grieving people.
Graham has completed a certified course Death and Bereavement in Contemporary Society and contributed to an international conference (on the same theme) in London, while studying at the prototype of all hospices - St Christopher's.
For two years in the early 1990's Graham was unable to work due to severe ill health. As a result of this difficult time, together with his previous experiences, he can identify with the frustration of helplessness, and the need of understanding support.
Graham is married to Margaret, a former hospice nurse and trained counsellor. They live in Upper Hutt, with two sons and their families living nearby, they are kept engaged and active!
Don has been conducting funeral ceremonies in the Wellington region, for the last fifteen years. He is known for his capacity to craft ceremonies that incorporate the life and spirituality of the person who has died, - whether it be secular or religious.
A feature of Don’s work is that he provides a draft script for every ceremony for the family to edit and this collaboration enables the ceremony to be accurate, warm and filled with meaning. He ensures that it will always include appropriate words, symbols and music to enable your ceremony to reflect the many journeys of life and significant events.
It’s been noted that Don has a great sense of what is appropriate to enable the bereaved people to both laugh and cry, to make sense of ‘passing on’ and to honour the deceased.
Don is married to Sue Thompson, who is Operations Manager for the Laura Fergusson Trust and they live in Naenae. Don is well known for his work with Sailability which is an organisation to provide sailing opportunities for people with disabilities.
Brian has worked within funeral service since 1999, the past 13 years as a funeral celebrant. With a background in emergency and funeral service Brian’s working career has involved caring for families within the diverse social and cultural communities we are part of today.
In today’s modern world, many people are developing their own philosophies on life and religion and Brian believes funeral service is a time for families to each express those beliefs without traditional restraints.
Brian strives to offer individual funeral ceremonies centred on the value of family and friendship. Supporting families to create a ceremony that is personal, meaningful, positive and uplifting, and certainly far from solemn or sad.
Brian lives in Lower Hutt with his wife Michelle and their three young children.
Lionel is an experienced celebrant, having conducted funerals over the past 30 years, initially in Dunedin till he and his wife moved to Wellington in 2006. He grew up in Gisborne, the place where he entered his first career – civil engineering. From that profession he entered into the world of industrial chaplaincy – meeting and supporting people in the own work-a-day world.
Now as a retired ordained Presbyterian minister Lionel is well qualified to help families plan a service for their loved one; this he will do in a pastoral way . For him, that service should both reflect the person who has died and be the occasion that best suits the grieving family. This may mean a religious service or it may not.
For Lionel, words and symbols are important, and whatever the style of the service all should be carried out with dignity and respect to a high professional standard. With that, the service should ‘ring true’ for those who attend who know the deceased well.