I have been a spiritual healer and counsellor for thirty years running the Frome Healing Practice from my home in Frome, Somerset [fromehealingpractice.co.uk]. I follow a daily meditation practice and find my inspiration in Eastern spiritual traditions such as Self-Realization, Buddhism and Taoism. That said, I respect any spiritual tradition which has integrity and I have learned something from all of the main religions. I am less interested in the specifics of what people believe (for example, one god, no god, many gods) than in how they live their lives and the qualities they embody as human beings.
I am interested in what makes us human, the way we live our lives and our various stories. I am a good listener and I bring to my connection with others warmth and kindness. My approach is down-to-earth and open-minded. My strength is to enable helpful conversations which bring fresh understanding and suggest possible ways forward. I value ceremony and simple ritual when they have a useful part to play and I am mindful that both have to hold and engage our attention to be successful. This applies to funerals, weddings and the therapeutic use of ritual in healing.
After I was ordained in 2010, I set up Greenwood Funerals, a small funeral company whose raison d’etre is to arrange funerals differently from the way funerals are offered in the mainstream funeral industry [greenwoodfunerals.co.uk].
As part of that work, I sometimes take on the role of funeral celebrant. However, my primary aim is to help people navigate the practical and emotional journey when facing their own death or the death of someone with whom they have shared their lives. It can feel rather like being a gatekeeper who people encounter at a critical moment in their lives. My job is to support, guide and accompany them for a brief while on their journey through and beyond death.
Every month I hold an evening of Universal Worship. My hope is that the evenings provide a safe, gentle and inclusive space in which to join with like-minded people and celebrate our humanity and the mystery of which we are part. Each evening has a different theme but follows the same format of simple devotional singing, body prayer, readings, stories, poems and silent reflection. Spirituality with a small ‘s’, community with a small ‘c’ and no preaching, teaching or excessive piety!
I also from time to time organise retreats. Currently, I am part of a local initiative to encourage a community or sangha of like-minded people who have a spiritual practice like meditation but who do not wish to belong to an organisation with formal leadership or hierarchy.
I believe there is good in each one of us, that love has the power to transform, faith can move mountains and the truth will set us free provided we use our common sense and retain a sense of humour.