Steve Emmett - Humanist Funeral Celebrant, BHA Accredited

I live in the Yorkshire Wolds close to the market town of Malton, to the east of York. I was born in Harrogate but have spent most of my adult life in London and Italy. My grandfather was a devout Catholic, awarded the Benemerenti by Pope Paul VI for his services to the Church. It will come as no surprise, then, that I went to a Catholic school, but I never felt comfortable with the dogma, let alone the idea of an almighty. I soon realised that belief in any form of supernatural governance could not satisfy me; it didn’t make any sense. By the time I’d stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, I’d put gods well and truly behind me. I suppose I’ve been a humanist nearly all my life. As a student I came across the Renaissance humanists and thought what an enlightened bunch they were. I studied architecture, and that really opened my mind in all sorts of directions. Eventually I made my way in the world with my own company selling country houses in Italy. Getting to know Italy and its people so intimately gave me an insight into how religion can exert influence even in so-called secular societies. I had a great time in Italy but my work didn’t fullfil me. I needed stimulation of a  more intellectual kind. So I changed completely and became a writer. I have always loved novels and telling stories. When I returned to Britain I joined the BHA. I soon realised that I could use my skills to help people by becoming a celebrant, to help tell their stories at one of the most important times in their lives. As someone who has always taken pride in professionalism, gaining BHA accreditation was something that meant a lot to me.

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Member of the British Humanist Association