Funeral Ceremonies

" When I lost my father 4 weeks after losing my sister in Australia ,I was very fragile.
Barbara's kindness and her caring nature helped make a difficult time as easy as it could be Barbara's service was one that I recall often ,and treasure still. Thanks Barbara."
Ruth Barton
Barbara, At a very sad and tumultuous time in our lives you were there, with your calm,sensitive caring and professional golden touch.
With two funerals you have conducted for us as a family, we could not have asked for a better person. You were so careful and thorough in creating a service to truly capture the Essence of our dad and Nana . We can't thank you enough, we are left assured we did the best job in saying goodbye.
Katie and David Harrison

Dear Barbara, When I lost my partner Rick, I was filled with apprehension over the funeral arrangements, how to organise it and face all that we had to do. I'm so grateful we picked you to do the service for us. You were superb, took control, firmly but with sensitivity, mapped everything out for the whole family, gave us our instructions and pulled it all together so beautifully. It was fascinating how you gave each of us a job to do, even the young grandchildren had a role to play. The way you wove each of our stories together to tell the timeline of Rick's life, also keeping in mind his absent family in the UK worked beautifully. You thought of everything! Several of my workmates who had not known Rick and came to support me said afterwards that it was one of the best funerals they had been to and that by the end they felt like they had actually known him! Your presentation was impeccable and humour injected where appropriate. I particularly appreciated the way you picked up on all the family relationships and treated each of us with sensitivity and respect for our part in Rick's life, very important when there's been a split family as so many are today. Thank you again for making it the perfect, perfect day that it was - it gave me so much comfort and I shall never forget it. Regards.
Margo Fraser
Dear Barbara, Our family was extremely impressed with way you conducted the celebration of our Motherís life during her funeral in September. A year earlier you had been the marriage celebrant at our daughter Oliviaís wedding and the service you organised there was stunning. So when my mother died there was no question that you would be the person to conduct proceedings. The service you organised was a graceful and elegant celebration of my Motherís life that captured the special essence that was her. Many people told me later that it was one of the nicest funerals they ever had been to. Warmest regards.
Geoff Russell

Dear Barbara, How do you find the words for someone who specialises in finding just the right thing to say at such important events in our lives?
During a time of grief you arrived with a minimum of notice and quietly organised what needed to be done. Your research was meticulous and conducted with empathy and compassion, and you were able to pull together facets of a life well lived so we could balance a celebration of a loved one’s being with the loss of parting.
Your delivery at the service was conducted in a relaxed, warm and inclusive manner that appealed to all ages, cultures and lifestyles.
Barbara, you are the consummate professional in your chosen field and my family and I thank you for your invaluable help and support.
I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone looking for an outstanding celebrant.
Stuart Robertson and Family


We are indebted to Barbara for guiding us with thoughtfulness and care through the days following the death of a family member. She spent time with us as a family when we were feeling very vulnerable and she carefully listened as we talked about how we would say goodbye to our dearly loved daughter, what we wanted said and who would say it. She crafted her own words for the ceremony and checked them with us so that we knew that the whole would come together as a fitting memorial. We felt afterwards that the whole process and the ceremony could not have been better. Several of our friends have since told us that they would contact Barbara if there was a death in their family as they had never been to a funeral which felt so real and so true. Barbara took over the total organisation from the time we rang her. She contacted the funeral company We are indebted to her for her wisdom and her compassion.

Dear Barbara, As I have been reflecting on Dadís passing and his funeral, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know again how grateful the family was to have you as the celebrant. Rather than being a difficult and distressing experience, we all felt that you created a warm, loving and respectful space that allowed us to remember Dad with a lightness of heart, gratitude for having him in our life and loving humour. Thank you also for your very thoughtful choice of readings, which reflected Dad and his life so perfectly. I realise that to create such an atmosphere takes great skill, empathy and mindfulness, all of which you have in abundance. Once again many thanks for making this ceremony so special for us all. Warm regards,
Elizabeth Currey
I just wanted to say thank you for your precious contribution and guidance to my father in law's funeral. Your gentle approach to weaving such a wonderful picture of all aspects of his life and death made for an unforgettable service. The family could not have dreamt of a better send off for Dave.
To whom it may concern. It gives me much pleasure to write this testimonial in support of the outstanding services provided by Barbara James-Bartle. When we celebrated our 50 th wedding anniversary in 2011 Barbara was highly recommended by the Soljan family of Soljanís vineyard and restaurant in Kumeu to be a fine and caring celebrant, Barbara proved to be an outstanding person, taking her time to interview us and our family to help us and our very old and new friends to celebrate and confirm our love for each other. Recently one of our dearest and oldest friend passed away at the age of 89, we recommended Barbara to the family to assist in the celebration of her life, again we were very impressed with the time Barbara took to interview the family in this difficult time and the love and care she expressed to the family and friends and the fine service she arranged in the final farewell to our dear friend. We highly recommend Barbara for any celebration you may have, be it happy or sad, Barbara will show compassion and care and make it a happy and satisfying occasion. Sincerely.
Frank and Koba Schuurman