Debbie Jones

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Celebrant Category: Funeral Celebrant

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  • Debbie wholeheartedly offers you her expertise, time and skills.  She arranges, writes and conducts person-centred, bespoke ceremonies for all. 

     She offers and enables choice, in the most creative of ways. There are many options and she aims to open people’s eyes as to what can be done to create the most fitting ceremony to respect and honour your loved one and truly reflect their life, values and beliefs.

    Debbie says, “I put the person who has died, and you, the closest people to them, at the very centre of my work, holding you all with mindfulness and compassion.

    I offer ceremonies for those who wish for something more personal and meaningful than many traditional services.

    Let me guide and support you. You will be in safe, capable hands.”


    Debbie also offers 1:1 sessions for those who wish to plan ahead for their own funeral or a funeral for another.

    Debbie also regularly hosts a Death Cafe in South Manchester, a confidential space where people come and share their fears, curiosity, and experiences around death and dying.

  • Testimonials:

    October 2018

    “ Thank you Debbie for providing such a sensitive and heart felt send off for our dear friend.  Your preparations with the family and friends was delicate and yet thorough, you left nothing out and therefore everyone felt included and empowered by your eulogy, quite a feat. You treated the participants of our ceremony with respect and therefore our friend was truly honoured, while keeping to the time schedule. Thank you so much for being such an amazingly perfect celebrant for us all.”     Charlotte Lang,  Winchester




    September 2018

    “Dear Debbie, I just wanted to thank you for all you did today, and leading up today. Everyone found the service very fitting just the right tone and sense of intimacy. Some people have asked me where we found you :) (I will pass on details).  I am sure my friend would have wholeheartedly approved of how stylish but quirky everything was. So individual. So personal. Thank you. Very best wishes, Tamsin”

    Tamsin Crothers, Wigan

    July 2018

    “I’d like to thank you for a beautiful service you gave my mum and how pleased I was on how the day went.”

    Christine Ariss, Wigan

    "Debbie, it’s with heartfelt thanks that I write this testimonial.

    We could not have chosen anyone better who could have conducted my mum’s service and celebration of her life. You brought the tributes from my siblings and myself to life and you created such a special atmosphere of calmness and love through your delivery, your words and your presence. The time spent with us, your attention to detail and understanding of mum’s character were outstanding and many people commented on the quality of the service. My mum would definitely have approved of how you made her the ‘star of the show’, especially using the recordings of her as you did. Even the funeral director remarked that it was one of the loveliest she had witnessed.

    Sending a copy of the ceremony to my step dad as a final touch was very touching, and reflects the care and dedication you put into every aspect of the whole funeral. Thank you."

    Lee, Ramsbottom.

    "Dear Debbie,

                    Thank you so much for being such a warm, kind and heartfelt celebrant at my Mum’s funeral last Friday.   I was so pleased that my sister chose you. I will never forget your kindness and true sincerity at my Mum’s Celebration of Life. It is something that will certainly help towards our journey of acceptance, restoration and resolution.

    You made her Celebration of Life so special and precious, and you brought a great source of comfort and love into the whole proceedings. It was exactly as I would have wished it to be.

    Very kind regards”

    From Laura in Ramsbottom

    "Thank you Debbie, for such a lovely and celebratory service you did for my mum Nora and her family in June. You were so beautifully present and supportive for everyone, I wouldn't have wanted anything to be the slightest bit different to how it went on the day and I think I speak for mum too. You were a very special gift to our family that day.... Thank you."

    John Dixon, London

    June 2018

    "Dear Debbie, thank you so much for what you have done.  The keepsake with everybody's words and thoughts will be framed and treasured. Once again thank you for kind and lovely words.”

    Robert Spencer, Middleton

    "Thank you so much, Debbie.  You are one special person.  I can't believe how you've written this so well.  It's amazing.  We've been in tears.  It's just perfect, thank you."

    S.S, Middleton, Greater Manchester

    May 2018

    "We wanted to thank you for yesterday. We couldn’t have had a nicer send off for P. I think that the photo slide show sent everyone over the edge, but we are glad that we did it.”  

    Anonymity preferred,  Cheshire

    April 2018

    "Thank you for writing such beautiful ceremony notes.  Thank you for all your help, we are extremely grateful for all you've done.”

    H.C,  Blackley, Manchester



    "Good afternoon Debbie,

    Thanks again for coming so quickly to our home yesterday. All four of us were deeply impressed by your humanity and listening ability and feel very confident that you will represent and support our family well."

    Anonymity preferred, Blackley, Manchester



    "Debbie,   Many thanks for the really dignified, rich and lovely ceremony that you coordinated. In such tragic circumstances, it was important that someone like yourself was able to hold the fort and keep everyone together. I do hope we can speak again in the future....

    .....Where feelings are raw, wounds are open and the loss is profound, I found Debbie to really bring people together and make the funeral into a celebration in a really kind, articulate and understanding way. These events are unfathomable to those who are close, and frightening to those who attend, but I’m so reassured that there are people like Debbie to guide the ship in a storm.

    I recommend Debbie without reservation.”

    Hasip Mahir, London



    “Thank you Debbie.  I think everything was perfect.  Absolutely beautiful day.  Thank you once again for your service and the keepsake script…pure brilliance. Take care.”

    Joanne Law, Blackley, Manchester



    March 2018

    "Debbie, It was lovely to meet you, you lit up the room and it was nice we could reflect on happier times. Thankyou.

    All the celebrants on the list sounded good but I chose you on 'gut instinct'  and I'm so glad because you seem perfect. "

    W.B, Sale, Manchester



    "I just wanted to say thankyou so much Debbie for being the Celebrant at our mum's funeral.

    It was such an individual and caring service from you .... from when you came to our home and you invited us to reminisce about our mum's life and happy times, to standing in front of our loved ones in the Chapel reading a poem my sister had written.

    Everyone commented afterwards on how lovely you were and your light and warmth.

    You did mum proud, and we couldn't ask you for anymore, so thankyou again ...."

    The Bridges Family, Manchester & London



    "That was a splendid service. You were spot-on. She was a great girl. You'd obviously done your research. It was perfect for her, thank you."

    Jim Whitby, Sale, Manchester



    "It was absolutely beautiful.  Lovely.  Just T to a tee! Thank you."

    Anonymity preferred, Sale, Manchester



    "Hello Debbie

    Now we have had time to adjust, and to reflect I want to thank you on behalf of all of us for being part of mum's celebration.  It was a truly beautiful service that we are still talking about.

    I was so glad I trusted my 'instinct' and gave you a call.  I felt an instant connection to you - and the whole process of defining mum's service was like planning a party with an old friend.  Your words captured exactly the tone we wanted for the service and you tied all those emotional moments together with such calm respect for my mum.  There was an amazing bond of love in the room for her and I was so glad that you could be part of that.  So many friends and family have said what a beautiful day it was and that it was so perfect for mum, I think it made saying goodbye much more intimate and special."

    L.M, North Wales



    "In all my 3 years working in the funeral industry, I can honestly say that I have never experienced such a heartfelt, personal and beautiful ceremony as this.  The family were very lucky to have found you."

    David Aspin, Cheshire



    "That was so lovely.  There are no words to describe it."

    Helen M, Manchester



    "May I thank you for a really lovely service.  You brought just the right aura to it.  It was a real celebration."

    Enid Moore, Hoole, Chester



    "Debbie, I just wanted to say a huge thank you again for such a lovely service .... it was perfect in every way.

    Everyone I have spoken with commented on how good it was and how much they enjoyed it (if 'enjoyed' is the right word to use).  You painted the exact picture of Peter and even I learned things about him today that I didn't know.

    Anyway, thank you and thank you for giving me a script; that really was thoughtful of you and I really appreciate it.

    Sorry it was under such sad circumstances but it was really good to meet you.

    Best wishes,"

    Wendy Molyneux, Warrington



    "Thanks for your email and kind words Debbie.

    It was lovely to work with you too. You’re right, you have found your calling.

    The family really took to you as I hoped they would and the service was perfect.

    I do hope we get to work together again soon.”

    Kindest regards

    Paula Huber, Funeral Director, Cherry Blossom Funerals, Wigan

    February 2018

    "We were very moved by yesterday's celebration of K's life."

    "Yes thank you everyone and thank you Debbie. The whole day was incredibly moving."

    P. & A,  Manchester



    "Thankyou so much Debbie for your beautiful ceremony, it was perfect.  I felt it was everything K would have wanted and it also met everyone's needs on such an occasion. So full of love and laughter as well as tears."

    N.G,  Whalley Range, Manchester



    "Hi Debbie, You did such such a great job yesterday. Everyone I talked to, family and friends, said so.

    It was complicated with so many different people involved, so many sensitive things to think about and, of course, no hope of there feeling like there was enough time.

    You managed all this not only on the day but also with so much communication behind the scenes in preceding weeks. I imagine you often would have just one family to work with but, for yesterday, you had a large family and many close friends too.

    At the end of the day, we thought our lovely friend got the funeral she hoped for and asked for and that will make a difference to many people for always in thinking about her.

    You managed to help us all achieve this with great kindness and consideration which was such a support in difficult times.

    Kindest regards"

    Sally May, Brighton



    "Debbie, thank you so much, everything went so smoothly thanks to your efforts."

    D.P, Leicester



    "Debbie, Thank you so much for organising and conducting J's service. Everyone has said what a wonderful tribute it was to J and her life and what she meant to people."

    P. G,  Blackley, Manchester



    November 2017

    "Debbie was the perfect celebrant for the memorial and funeral.  Her calm and gentle presence and her expertise made the planning of the event so much easier, and surprisingly quite enjoyable. Her creative ideas for the memorial were pitched just right and helped form a very bespoke and individual event that our dear late friend, Maggie, would have loved, and an event that very well represented and celebrated Maggie for the wonderfully unique and strong woman she was.   Without having ever met Maggie, Debbie effortlessly seemed to grasp who she was and her complexities.  After the memorial, I received so many comments on what a beautiful, warm and comforting event it was and in particular on the way in which Debbie held the space for us all.  It was a great evening and just the best send off for our well-loved friend. "       Lucy Williams,  Hulme,  Manchester

    "Debbie was so warm and kind and turned planning my friend’s funeral service from what I thought might be a difficult and stressful process into an unexpectedly positive and life-affirming experience. We were probably still in shock when Debbie first came to talk with us, and she helped us to find our way by carefully listening, encouraging and making sensible and sensitive suggestions, with no pressure and no shying away from difficult or painful issues. I felt in safe hands. Debbie continued to show the same care and unhurried support through the writing and re-writing of the service, helping us choose poems and music, and generally getting the detail just right.

    The service was really moving and engaging, reflecting the life and personality of our friend in all its complexity, while sensitively taking in the different experiences and feelings of the people there. For me, it became a very significant step towards re-engaging with an open heart with a world that had irrevocably changed. I’d recommend Debbie to anyone, and in fact, I already have!"                                               Hilary,    Chorlton,     Manchester



    "Hi Debbie,
    Thank you for your kind and warm words and everything you did with all of us that were involved in carrying out Maggie's last wishes. It was a tall order and full of contradictions. You did such an amazing job of understanding all the complex relationships and Maggie's, as well as our, aspirations for the funeral and Memorial. All of it came together perfectly and we came away from the experience with happiness as well as sadness in our hearts, which you had guided us towards with such compassion. Thank you.  I would like to put across to other people how wonderful you are as a guide through such difficult times."         Sam, Ireland



    "I am one of Maggie's friends. I wanted to thank you for your excellent conducting of her funeral and memorial service. I was very impressed by your confident but gentle conducting of both services.
    You got the tone just right. I have been to many other funerals but no-one before has made me feel so comforted. I'm sure Maggie would have liked it and all her friends appreciated the relaxed delivery on such difficult occasions. I have already recommended you to several other friends but hope we won't be needing you in the near future! Best wishes"       Sue S,  Manchester



    "Thank you once again for the beautiful service for my mum"   J.F.  Middleton,  Rochdale



    "That was wonderful!  So natural.  It was as if you'd known him.  Thank you so much."     F.G,  Urmston, Greater Manchester



    "Your words are lovely and brought a tear to my eyes when I read them.  It would be very kind of you to send me a copy of the service.  I will treasure that very much and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your input and kindness during this very difficult time."       K. H, Chester, Cheshire



    "Dear Debbie, we would like to express our thanks to you for your compassion, kindness and patience over the last couple of weeks during what has been a very emotional time whilst we have been arranging our dad's funeral.  From our first meeting you put me at ease talking about our dad; his life, family, hobbies, work and core values.  The service you conducted was very special and moving and for that we are very grateful. With our very best wishes"

    M.W,  K. H,  Urmston, Greater Manchester



    October 2017   

    "Thanks, that was really lovely."    M.O,  Harperhey, Manchester



    "Hello Debbie,  I just wanted to give you heartfelt thanks for yesterday and all you did to make it so special. It really did seem a loving celebration. Everyone there felt that too."

    L.T, Chorlton, Manchester



    "Organising a funeral is never easy and when you want someone to help, you would want Debbie to be the person to do it. For someone to be so calm and open is a real comfort. Someone who has the ability to understand and make someone's life real meant a lot to our family and friends at the service. What was a sad day was truly made wonderful by Debbie's service, consultation, and thoughtfulness."    Lisa and David, Chorlton, Manchester

    "Debbie's warmth and authenticity created a really beautiful and moving funeral service for B's family -  L, my brother D, R and friends. Debbie is a gifted celebrant, who in a calm and loving way, was able to speak from the heart and with such humanity about B, describing her life and personality so effectively.  Her thoughtful words about B and her genuine care for the family were so comforting.  I was unsure of how I would feel experiencing a non-traditional funeral, but I found Debbie to be inclusive and welcoming to all - inviting people of faith to say the Lord's prayer and giving time for prayer for those who chose to pray, and a time of reflection for those who chose not to. It was the most inclusive and touching service I have been to. Thank you Debbie.  With appreciation...."      L.G, Chorlton, Manchester



    September 2017

    "Debbie, you did an amazing job of the Service, it hit just the right note - not too sentimental (we aren't generally that kind of family) and not too 'stiff upper lip' either.  Everyone commented on what a lovely service it was.    All in all, it couldn't have gone any better.  We consider ourselves very lucky that it was you who officiated at the service for us.  With heartfelt gratitude"

    Alison Podlasiuk and family, Irlam, Salford



    June 2017

    "Hi Debbie, I've read this through and think it's lovely and very fitting for my mum."

    M.M, Crumpsall, Manchester



    "Thank you, that was perfect.  I actually feel as if I know my dad much better now."    L.F. Blackley, Manchester



    May 2017

    “I have recently had occasion to use the services of Debbie Jones who is an independent celebrant based in Manchester (she had been recommended by close friends) at a funeral to celebrate and honour my brother who had died suddenly.

    Because I have never had to organise a funeral before, the idea of trying to deal with the grief of the loss of a (close) brother whilst also being tied up in formality, protocols and paperwork was a daunting one.

    I needn’t have worried. At the very first consultation at my home (Debbie is flexible and indicated that she would have been happy to do this elsewhere if I wanted to) I was immediately set at ease as she carefully teased out the important and salient points she needed, and was a calming presence throughout this, for me, emotional and difficult process.

    After this initial meeting, and in the run- up to the actual day of the ceremony, Debbie was always available to address any concerns that I had, via text, email or mobile; which is really important if you are trying to plan something like this on your own, because there are many decisions and issues that have to be decided.

    In terms of the ‘service’ itself, Debbie was again very flexible as she fitted her ‘script’ not only around a personal testimony that I had written, but in that she was also happy to accommodate fully five other separate personal remembrances, as well as having to find space for three pieces of music.

    So: the ceremony itself could not have gone any better and was carried out exactly as both I, and my late brother, would have wanted. Debbie has a very calming presence and a genuine warmth which sets everyone at ease, and has that amazing skill whereby you think she’s addressing you personally all the way through!

    Many attendees were very complimentary with regards not only to Debbie, but also to the refreshing lack of ‘formality’ (just as my brother had requested some time ago) and many also mentioned how they loved the warm and moving ‘personalisation’ of the ceremony.

    Debbie is hugely & highly recommended.”    Rahman Baloch, Manchester



    "An excellent service.  Wonderful.  Thank you."    H.S, Manchester



    “ Thank you for the script and for the ceremony. Thank you for helping us at such a hard time.  We really appreciate it.”    B. B. Moston, Manchester



    April 2017

    "Hi Debbie, just wanted to say thank you so much for all you did to send A on his way so wonderfully.  Everyone who I spoke to after the service said you were really good and they said it was very good service."    L.K, Leyland, Lancashire



    March 2017

    “So lovely to sit and chat to you, Debbie, and to benefit from your warm and interested presence.”   A.B, Chorlton, Manchester



    “Debbie has an abundance of natural warmth, she is open and interested, listens without judgement, and you feel safe and held in her company.”   A.D, Didsbury, Manchester



    Feb 2017

    “I did wonder how you were going to do it without having known him but you did it really well.”   S.L.   Stafford, Lincolnshire



    “You did a marvellous job.”   R.B.   Stafford, Lincolnshire



    “Thank you for being so patient with us, coordinating it all in such a calm way, with grace and dignity.  Thank you for being here.”   K.W.   Stafford, Lincolnshire



    “You did brilliantly.”   W.G.    Stafford, Lincolnshire