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About Me

Reverend Denise Hewitson
Rev. Denise Hewitson B.Ed (Hons), M.A Independent Funeral Celebrant

Member of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners

I am Rev. Denise Hewitson and an independent funeral celebrant in the Stoke-on-Trent area. I really hope that I may be able to offer you a wholehearted bereavement care service at this very difficult time.

I was ordained as a priest into the Anglican Church in 1997 after completing my ministerial training and MA in theology at St John’s Theological college in Nottingham. Since that time I have developed extensive experience of providing caring and sensitive funeral services within the church, hospice and community settings.

Prior to ordination I worked as a teacher and youth worker for 15 years after obtaining my B.Ed (Hons) degree from Liverpool University in 1974. I then worked for 5 years as a church lay minister (1990-95) before undertaking my theological training.

After serving in the Church for 5 years, in 2001 I worked as a Hospice chaplain serving 4 hospices across the North West and Midlands.

In 2004 I did a 2 year training course at the Sherwood Institute of Psychotherapy in Nottingham and obtained a post graduate certificate in Psychotherapy.

In 2012 I struck out on my own as an independent funeral celebrant in order to focus on the area of my Ministry ‘where my heart lies’ and where I feel called to be, alongside the bereaved and broken-hearted...

In 2013 I became an accredited member of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners.


What do I offer?

I can provide services (via local Funeral directors) to all people seeking a personalised, sensitive and caring funeral service for their loved one. I pay meticulous detail to the needs and requirements of the family to create a special service which will bring honour to their loved one and comfort to the family in their grief and loss.

I often work with families, who whilst not wanting a ‘formal religious’ service, are seeking something other than a humanist service. I offer families a service which reflects a gentle Christian spirituality and seeks to reflect hope, care and compassion in this time of tremendous loss and heartbreak.

I seek to stand in this gap for people needing the reassurance of a service which has a Christian context but for whatever reason would not request a formal religious Church service.

I work throughout the Staffordshire area, although based near Stoke-on-Trent I can travel reasonable distances north and south. I sometimes work out of the Staffordshire area on request.

I am usually contacted by local funeral directors but it is possible to contact me directly or request my services through your own funeral director.

The fee for my services is £203. This is usually paid through your own funeral director

The fee includes a visit to the family to plan and prepare for the service, my preparation time and the conducting of the service itself.


What the families say…

  • Dear Denise, may I take this opportunity on behalf of myself and Mum and family for the service, comfort and understanding you gave to the family in respect of my father. The compassion you showed is to be admired, the words you spoke to be cherished.
    Again, thank you and God bless you from all of us


  • I want to thank you for the good, well put together funeral service. Also thanks for going through it in so much detail beforehand. Everything was really well done and I couldn't be more pleased about how it went. Many thanks Denise. It was a pleasure to meet you.

    Daniel, Becky and Sue

  • Rev Denise. Thank you so much for carrying out a lovely and heartfelt service for Michael, and for your words at Michael's private garden.
    Your work has been much appreciated by myself and all of Michael's family. Take care

    Sandra, Michael, Lesley and family

  • Thank you enormously for presenting your Service yesterday, you did such a magnificent job. So many peopleI spoke to yesterday commented it was one of the best and most memorable Services they could recall. You are delivering a marvellous service to people. I hope you continue in your special vocation for years to come

    We in our family cannot thank you enough!


  • Dear Denise, just a note to express our sincere thanks for stepping in at such short notice to take Mum’s funeral service. You most certainly portrayed Mum well, we wish you had been able to meet her. Many people who attended said how they had ‘enjoyed’ the service - a celebration of her life as well as the act of formally saying goodbye.
    Best wishes and thanks

    Robert and Alison

  • Dear Reverend Denise, thank you so much for your sensitive, personal service yesterday. We all thoroughly appreciated your professionalism, kindness and patience. You managed to combine a complicated history with skill and sensitivity. Your sporting ‘includes’ were great! It cannot have been easy, but we all ‘enjoyed’ it, if that sounds right?
    We are so grateful Geoff contacted you and you were able to help, we could not have asked for a better person.
    thank you

    Shirley, John, Alison, Steve, Little Alison and families

  • Hi Denise. Thank you so much for the lovely card and such kind words, it was a pleasure meeting you too and you also did my brother proud with your unique service.
    So thank you for EVERYTHING, you really do a wonderful job. Love and take care

    Doreen, Michael and all the family

  • Thank you for today. It was a lovely service and send off for my Dad.

    Jayne and Family

  • On behalf of Mark, Deborah and the wider family, I would like to extend sincere thanks to you for officiating the funeral service to commemorate June’s life. We have received many complements on the service content and the professional and eloquent delivery.

    Thank you also for the empathy you showed whilst visiting us last Thursday which somewhat eased the task of planning the service.


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© 2019 Rev. Denise Hewitson