Yesterday I was delighted to attend one of the Scottish Independent Celebrants’ professional development sessions – a creative writing workshop. Nine celebrants gathered at the beautiful Subud Centre in Perth for what was a bit of a departure for SICA. Most of our CPD sessions are quite short, focussed on one topic, and held on Zoom. But yesterday we all got together in person and spent the best part of the day writing.

We’d asked Beth McDonough, a former university of Dundee lecturer in creative writing and a published poet, to lead the session, along with SICA member Fiona Beeley. Together they devised a programme designed to help us unlock our creativity – or help the people we work with to unlock theirs. We focussed on funerals in the morning and then after lunch turned to weddings, blessings and other sorts of ceremonies. It was a strictly low tech day – no powerpoint, no slideshows, no fiddling with projectors, no laptops (though I was impressed with Helen Parker’s reMarkable table!).

It was an inspiring day, not least because when we get together we always network, make connections and share ideas. Hopefully this will be the first of many other sessions.

And one bonus for me was chatting to Mirabelle of the Subud Centre itself. She was interested in our work and wondered if we might use their centre not just for training but for actual ceremonies. I think it would make a beautiful setting for all sorts of small intimate gatherings. Memorials, namings, blessings. And I think even a funeral ceremony would be possible if linked to a burial or direct cremation. Always good to have options to suggest to families.

Michael Hannah, 26 May 2024 – contact me here.

SICA Creative Writing Workshop

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