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Celebrants across the UK are now included in the official list of key workers, which has been drawn up as the nation battles the coronavirus crisis.
The move follows a lobby made by one of the country’s leading sector organisations.
Concerned that Church of England ministers may be under severe pressure in the coming weeks and months, the Association of Independent Celebrants, (AOIC) made its case for professional Celebrants to be added to the list. It is also a fact that some relatives of the deceased may wish to have Celebrants conduct proceedings, which could have been prevented by their exclusion from the list.
With the above in mind, the AOIC’s Executive Chair Philip Spicksley, took up the issue on behalf of Celebrants. Following discussions between Phil and the Chief Executive of SAIF, Terry Tennens, the matter was discussed at the most recent meeting of The Death Management Advisory Group (DMAG).
“As a result of that, I am both pleased and relieved to see that Celebrants have now been recognised as key workers. In these totally unprecedented times, we must all pull together to offer what help and support we can to each other,” said Phil.
As reported, the Government’s list of people deemed ‘key workers’ was revealed as schools and colleges were ordered to close – it is only the children of such workers, aged and including 17, with vulnerable children to the age of 25, who can continue to attend education providers.
Whilst the list included ‘religious staff’ and ‘those responsible for managing the deceased’ there was no mention of Celebrants.
“This situation is now clarified, and I thank Terry for ensuring that is the case,” added Phil.