Who is
Caroline James

Chichester Funerals - about Caroline James, Funeral Planner and Celebrant

I love my work

 it’s as simple as that.

Training as a celebrant has brought together all the things I have done in a career dedicated to serving people. I see it as the most worthwhile job I have ever done.  It is certainly the most rewarding.

A little more about me – Caroline James

Much of my working life has been spent creating and conducting ceremonies, events and celebrations; firstly, working in the airline industry as cabin crew and airport VIP hospitality, then in the hotel industry. For me, the first thing a celebrant should do is to explore and develop a connection with the family so they can work together to make every farewell both unique and memorable for all concerned.

Equally important is that a celebrant needs to be sensitive to human emotion. As the second half of my career was spent in the criminal justice system, working with vulnerable people and those with mental health issues alongside the police and probation service, my sense of empathy is especially well developed. Speaking in court on behalf of others also afforded me many and varied opportunities to practice my public speaking.

Even having now conducted well over 100 services, it still delights me that every celebration is different, every commemoration uniquely personal. Why not google Caroline James Farewells & Funerals and have a look at the testimonials?

caroline james - chichester funeral celebrant

Caroline James is a member of the Good Funeral Guild, a collective of like-minded people working to change funerals for the better.

Kind Words

Jill W

"I am so grateful that I found Caroline to act as our Celebrant. From my first phone conversation I felt I was talking to someone who would really provide us as a family with the understanding, support and guidance we needed. Caroline's empathetic manner and unfailing willingness to help with any matter, however large or small, enabled us to work through all the issues requiring consideration and produce a final service that felt truly personal. On the day, Caroline's management of everything was kind and conscientious. The compassion, humour and warmth of her delivery made it the uplifting occasion we had hoped and it means so much to be able to look back on a 'celebration of mum's life' that was just right for her. From all of us - a huge thank you Caroline."

Toni M

"Caroline is absolutely amazing. She makes everything so stress free and bearable at a time of great sorrow and upset. Her support is second to none from meeting her on facetime to writing and editing the eulogy and tribute. Her advice and guidance is invaluable throughout.
The service was so professionally performed with humour and sensitivity. She really does get to know your loved one and you as the bereaved.
I would recommend her services whole heartedly".

 

I just wanted to do a review for Caroline James who was a celebrant at my children's dad's funeral in January of this year. When he first died I didn't even know what the word celebrant meant. I didn't know what it was I just thought that I was gonna try and sort the funeral out on my own. How difficult could it be? But actually, the more I thought about it the more I wanted it to be a really really special occasion for my children as it would be a long-lasting memory. It was really more important than I first imagined. I went on to Google and I found Caroline James through her website and from the first meeting or the first email that was sent I just knew that she was going to be the right lady for the job.

I sent her an email she replied within a couple of hours, almost immediately. She was round our house the very next day and she sat in the kitchen with myself and my son and she just led the way. She gave us so much advice on what we needed to do. We had to order order of services and what songs we needed, that we could have a slideshow, how long the service was. I didn't even know how long a funeral was supposed to be! So we had to time every little detail and the eulogy and actually the day itself couldn't have gone any better. Thanks, only thanks to Caroline. She read the eulogy and the tributes and the poems she suggested we use was just completely right for the person that had died. Everybody said it was the best funeral. I know that sounds quite strange but it was the best most interesting funeral that they'd ever been to. Really, thanks to caroline, how she spoke, her compassion, her patience, how she looked at my children after she did their tribute it was all just so so lovely.

Morag B

"Caroline was perfect in every way! – Her patience, compassion and her advice led to the perfect farewell for my childrens’s father. Caroline was so professional, it felt as if she had really known him! I cannot imagine how we could have done this without her. We cried, we smiled – Kees would have loved it! Everybody said it was the best service they had been to, I cannot recommend Caroline highly enough"

W.I.M

" On behalf of our whole family, we appreciated having Caroline Jane (CJ) as our celebrant for our Mother’s funeral. Her compassion, professionalism & natural qualities made the event more than just a funeral. It was a true celebration of our mother’s life, due in no small measure to her people skills. All who attended said she contributed to making it a memorable day.
Thank-you CJ from the whole Clan."

David W.

"Thank you very much for today. All the family were moved by the celebration.
If I can add something personal on my part …. Your sympathy was palpable, and I thank you very much for that. You were wonderful."

Susan G.

"Thank-you Caroline for the lovely service for my Mum earlier this week. Although we only spoke on the phone or via email, your understanding of what we wanted was spot on, and it was a huge comfort to find you waiting for us when we arrived at the Chapel on the morning of the funeral."

Stuart M

"We would like to thank Caroline for conducting the celebration of life for our father in such a relaxed and friendly manner but with obvious sincerity.  It was all that we hoped for and her support and advice in the design of the ceremony was invaluable.  We were very fortunate to have Caroline as our celebrant and wouldn't hesitate to recommend her. "

Jess H

"Massive thank you Caroline! In a short amount of time, you went above and beyond and not only wrote and conducted a beautiful service that was a fantastic friend to us all and there throughout to help whenever we needed it"

D Muir

"We were very privileged to have Caroline act as our Celebrant. She was wonderful the way she quietly advised and supported us during such a difficult time and I would have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone looking for a kind, gentle, sympathetic and knowledgeable Celebrant."

Wendy A

"I wish there were more stars to use for this wonderful lady.

Caroline was such a shining light in helping me and my family arrange an informal celebration of life for a dad who lost his life to the pandemic and also to my mum who died shortly before.

On meeting her I was struck with an instant connection and an amazing sense of relief because her natural empathy and understanding of my situation was such a comfort. A totally lovely person who made the day so special despite the pouring rain!

Thank you, Caroline, from the bottom of my heart."

M Corliss

"Caroline conducted the service for my father's funeral in a warm and personal manner. We were very pleased with the Eulogy which she put together from conversations with myself and my brother. Her ability to make all the people watching on stream feel included was vitally important to us as we had family members from many countries taking part in this way. I would highly recommend Caroline."

Mark C

"Caroline conducted the service for my father's funeral in a warm and personal manner. We were very pleased with the Eulogy which she put together from conversations with myself and my brother. Her ability to make all the people watching on stream feel included was vitally important to us as we had family members from many countries taking part in this way. I would highly recommend Caroline."

Jean M

"Caroline stepped in at the last minute for my Mum’s cremation due to unforeseen circumstances. I cannot praise her enough. The service felt so personal as if she knew my Mum and it was everything I wanted for Mum’s final send off. Everybody said how moving and intimate it was. Thank you Caroline for your professionalism but mainly for your gentle and caring manner."

Martin M

“I have had the pleasure of working alongside Caroline arranging funerals, on both occasions her standard has been done to the highest level and nothing but praise from both families."

Emma B

“Ten years ago, I used a wedding planner to help me organise the wedding of my dreams so when it came to my father's funeral, I was at a loss as where to start. I visited the local funeral parlour in the High Street but left feeling somewhat flat about the dreary options they offered me.

Luckily, Caroline was recommended to me by a mutual friend. From our first conversation, she seemed to know how to manage all my various stresses and strains. She recognised the parts which I would find particularly difficult to make decisions on and took the weight from me. She came up with lots of alternative creative and quirky ideas and suggested ways to mark my father's passing, whilst commemorating a fantastically interesting and fun life in a really different way. Yet she allowed me to make the choices. My dad would have loved it!”

J Groves

“Caroline has a huge heart and boundless compassion and empathy. She is creative, intuitive and has an infectious sense of fun, balancing humour with an understanding of life and its darker trials. Caroline is open minded and open hearted, and I would thoroughly recommend her as a celebrant. She has a very strong work ethic and I know how dedicated she will be to getting things absolutely right for her clients, acknowledging and validating loss whilst also celebrating life. I also know that she will welcome you and put you at ease whatever the situation, whether you are making initial enquiries or at the point of embarking on the ceremony.”

Lin & Paul

"Caroline embodies the qualities required to be a First Class Funeral Celebrant. 

Caroline is respectful, compassionate, reliable. Self-motivated and well-organised. Her previous work experience required her to be a 'good listener' and her non-judgemental attitude enabled her to be 'open' to people from all 'walks of life'.  She has an innate emotional understanding and the capability to guide people through challenging circumstances."

Jane and Terry R

"I wanted to get married near to where my mother was resident in a nursing home and, as time was limited, Caroline kindly offered to take on the arrangements.

She sourced us a venue suitable for an intimate wedding day with our closest family and friends, making sure that we were consulted and referred to on all the details necessary to make it an unforgettable occasion.

 I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Caroline for her attention to detail and sense of style. She also has the ability to 'spin plates', working whilst under pressure and still maintaining a smile on her face!"

M & C

"I just wanted to thank you for the time and trouble that you took to ensure that M's funeral was the best that it could be.  Everyone commented that it was a very nice service and very well conducted under the difficult circumstances.  So thank you again, it was a pleasure meeting you....."

Simon R

"The service was lovely and in these tough times it was a massive help having your support throughout the process."

Chloe T

"Many of the mourners were viewing on line and said how Caroline made Them feel part of the service which meant such a lot to us with so many absent faces."

Shirley R

"I cannot thank you enough for taking so much time and effort in finding out who my beloved husband truly was. The service was so beautiful..."

Vicky R

"From the moment we met Caroline, we knew she was the perfect person to hold the service for our very special dad."

Myles L

"I just wanted to write and thank you for today. You struck the perfect balance between formal and informal and helped make what could have been an extremely difficult day, so much easier. My brother in Denver , my father and my sister all asked me to thank you as well. You put together a beautiful service and we are all so very grateful. Thank you again"

Now is the time for me to make a difference to you.

Being a celebrant is my most rewarding work so far. I would be delighted to talk to you about organising your farewell so please get in touch today!