We, the Getting Married In Scotland team, are Angie, Will and Jane - three interfaith wedding celebrants/ministers available to create and hold a ceremony which is handcrafted for you.
Rev Angie Alexandra – Celebrant (Inverness, Aberdeen, Highlands, North of Scotland) and occasional Micro Wedding Planner
Back in 2002 after several big life changes – divorce, redundancy, moving from London to Scotland – I felt the need for more creative and fulfilling work. It was much to my surprise that after living in London for 8 years, I then felt compelled to travel to London once a month over the course of two academic years to undertake my training. I followed what felt like a calling to be a minister/celebrant and I haven’t looked back since 2004 when I was ordained.
As a celebrant I hold weddings across the north of Scotland, however I love organizing and have a wealth of local knowledge so I occasionally hold a dual role and help with planning and catering too, but only for very small weddings.
When I’m not working I love walking beautiful woods and beaches, making art, dancing, massage, reading, going to the gym, fine dining (I'm married to Will and he is an amazing cook – restaurant quality food!), socializing with family and friends usually involving walking or eating! and binge watching films and box sets.
If choosing me as your Minister and Celebrant you also have the option of having your service delivered wholly or partly in French or German (subject to you providing any necessary translations of the script); other languages and dialects can also be incorporated in a small way (with your guidance and coaching) for example Spanish, Italian, Doric and Gaelic - please ask for what you would like.
Rev Will Russell – Celebrant and professional Wedding Photographer (Inverness, Aberdeen, Highlands, North of Scotland)
I was born and raised in Perth – Perth, Western Australia! I’m half Scottish and half Australian with Scottish ancestry on both parents’ sides. When I settled in Findhorn it was with no previous knowledge that my great grandmother was born in the village of Findhorn, and my great, great grandparents are buried a mile up the road in Kinloss Abbey. My grandmother emigrated from Scotland when she was 5 years old, and never came back, in spite of being the most Scottish person I’ve ever known – she played fiddle, wore kilts, baked shortbread! She was clearly a greater influence on me than I realised, and the Celtic blood runs strong in my veins too!
When I’m not holding a ceremony or photographing a ceremony, I’m still often behind a camera, taking creative and landscape shots. I also like to work with wood and have over 35 years’ experience of working as a cabinet maker. I love gadgets and technology, cooking and eating, and love nothing more than to put my feet up and chillax in front of a good series - Ang at one side, and a cheese platter and nice glass of red at the other!
Rev Jane Patmore – Celebrant (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southern Scotland and the Central Belt)
When I looked at getting married to my long term partner Derek in 2008, I found Angie and Will on the previous version of this very website, and I loved the freedom and flexibility they could offer me – so much so that Derek and I decided to elope, with my two daughters then aged 16 and 21 as our legal witnesses, and we had the most fun and relaxing ceremony and day I could imagine. And not only did I enlist Angie and Will’s services to hold and photograph my ceremony, I also signed up to train with the same organization, and have been following my passion for ceremony ever since.
When I’m not holding ceremonies I love travels and adventures, walking, fine dining, cooking (Angie says I can give Will a run for his money in the kitchen!!!), reading and creative writing, and husband Derek and I love to do new things together – in recent years we’ve tried Taiko Drumming, Asian cookery and salsa! I also love being a grandma to my young grandchildren Eve and Calum.
ABOUT ANGIE & WILL
The Roving Revs – Angie and Will – AKA Mr & Mrs Marriage
We met when living within the community surrounding the world renowned Findhorn Foundation back in 2001, and for 17 years we lived in the local eco village there. We now live just up the road from there in Forres. We're able to offer a unique option of having us as a married couple officiate together, or Angie officiate and Will photograph.
We sold our house in 2017 and have invested in a van to fulfil our dream of travelling anywhere around Scotland to hold and photograph ceremonies. We’ve put together some special packages so that our services are very good value, and we love working together on micro weddings or weddings for two.
We have lots of experience as bride and groom as well as celebrants as we have each been married five times! We hasten to add, four times to each other! It’s a long story, but we had four different ceremonies and celebrations – you can hear a little more about it in Angie’s Ted X talk ‘Four Weddings and No Funeral!’.
ABOUT US ALL
We all feel very blessed living and working in Scotland - the landscape speaks to our souls and there’s a real pull both to do the work we do, and a pull to the land . If you’d like to know anything else about us you only need ask but here’s a little overview based on questions other people have had for us in the past.
Q Do you hold religious or non religious ceremonies?
We respond to your beliefs, so we’re very happy to hold ceremonies which could be called religious, or spiritual, or humanist or non religious, as well as ceremonies that don’t fit any particular label. We can hold ceremonies in any way you wish – YOUR way. We’re committed to you having the perfect ceremony for you, whatever that looks like.
Q You’re Interfaith Ministers – can you say more about what you do?
Though we use the titles minister and reverend and have been ordained and nominated to be fully licensed marriage celebrants by the organisation we trained with (One Spirit Interfaith Foundation) we’re not traditional religious ministers. We’re not affiliated to any one particular spiritual or religious belief or faith path, church or other house of worship. We consider we are ‘Ministers for People’ and we go where we’re invited to go to hold ceremony, whether it be in a church, castle or front room. We minister in a way that’s fitting for the people we’re creating ceremony for. Being ‘The People’s Ministers’ better describes that we’re here in service of and to celebrate people from all faiths and no faith; we are here to be of service to your own personal needs, beliefs and spirituality, whatever they may be. Officially our title is Interfaith Minister or Interfaith Celebrant.
Q Did you have to take a training and what was that?
We all undertook an intensive two year training with The Interfaith Seminary which is now part of The Interfaith Foundation under the umbrella of One Spirit Interfaith Foundation. We were ordained Angie in 2004, Will in 2005, and Jane in 2011, and certified by our community of elders and we operate as insured members of the professional register of The Interfaith Ministers’ Association.
During the first year of the training we explored the essence of many of the major religious and spiritual traditions. Alongside these explorations we undertook some deep questioning around our own faith, beliefs, definitions and ethics.
In the second year of our training we concentrated on writing and officiating ceremonies, in parallel with spiritual counselling, a simple counselling model based on loving compassion. When we explored marriage we explored relationship counselling, when we explored funerals we explored bereavement counselling, and so on.
Our training was challenging, powerful and creative and we feel it has given us a good grounding to be able to sit down with anyone with kindness and a compassionate listening ear.
Q Who did you train with?
We trained with The Interfaith Seminary (IFS) which was founded in London by Reverend Miranda Holden in 1996 (it was known as The New Seminary at that time). This was set up as an independent sister programme to The New Seminary in New York where Miranda trained and was ordained.
The New Seminary New York was founded by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman in 1981 with the support of religious leaders Swami Satchidananda, Reverend Jon Mundy (a Methodist Minister) and Father Giles Spoonhour (a Catholic Priest).
IFS retains links to The New Seminary and has close affiliation to One Spirit Interfaith, a sister seminary, again in New York, founded by Reverend Diane Burke in 2002.
The New Seminary UK training programme has evolved over the years to suit UK culture and needs, and in 2002 was renamed The Interfaith Seminary to reflect the changes – in 2002 it also became a registered charity. In 2011 the organization became One Spirit Interfaith Foundation, under which its two arms are separated into The Interfaith Seminary, the training arm; and the body of ordained ministers who are actively ministering out in the world.
Q Which church or religion are you?
We’re not associated with any one particular church and don’t represent any single religious tradition. We operate independently of any church, synagogue, mosque, temple and house of worship, and we don’t have assigned parishes or posts though some of our colleagues do – the whole world is potentially our parish and those of us who offer ceremony are best described as People’s Ministers or Independent Celebrants.
We’ve been trained and ordained by the education arm of One Spirit Interfaith Foundation (OSIF), known as The Interfaith Seminary (IFS), and we work as non-denominational ministers in service of people from all faiths and none.
If we were to try to define our own personal spiritual paths, we would say we aspire to live with kindness, acceptance and compassion, and to meet each situation in our every day lives with what’s needed in the moment – patience, calm, listening, creativity, love.
Our spiritual paths are about being open-hearted, about being of service to others, and about being the presence of joy in the world, and definitely at a wedding. Whilst we could say more about our beliefs, we find that our beliefs are almost irrelevant when creating ceremony, as the ceremony is to honour your beliefs, and those of your guests.
Q Do you hold humanist ceremonies?
Yes we do. Many people have told us that they thought the ceremonies we hold are humanist because our ceremonies are often very personal and held outside the church, and for many people, that’s how they define humanism.
Our friends the humanists have done an amazing job of making personal ceremony available outside both the church and a registry office, but many people don’t realise the extent of ceremony options available in Scotland. In many ways humanism has become synonymous with personal, but it’s not the only personal option available.
For those people who are members of the HSS (Humanist Society of Scotland), it may feel natural for them to choose a celebrant from the HSS but for the many people who are not members of the HSS, and who have no desire to be, but who feel that they would like a personal ceremony, perhaps with some spiritual content, or even a nod to the religion of their birth, we would be very happy to help.
Q What does the term interfaith mean?
The term Interfaith most commonly conjures up images of dialogue and/or worship between people of different faiths and traditions. If to be Interfaith in this context means to be tolerant, accepting, open and understanding of those of different faiths, it’s fitting for us to use the term.
We aspire to have some basic knowledge of different faiths which would help us to respond to a person in need from any faith or with no clear faith or to have an idea of where to start should a couple who wish to marry come from different religious traditions. We in no way profess to be experts on religion.
Many people who come to us consider themselves non-religious or in need of secular ceremony - we're often asked to hold humanist ceremonies.
Many others want to talk about their own personal and individual spiritual paths which are unique to them and can’t be defined or labelled.
In the recent past we have found people have wanted ceremony or ritual to honour their spirituality and special occasion but to have a religious ceremony felt hypocritical, and to have a humanist or civil ceremony had no spiritual element – times have changed and every couple who wishes to marry can have only and exactly the ceremony of their choosing - according to their faith and choice, not ours!
We can help those who regard themselves as spiritual but who don’t regularly take part in traditional religion – this could be those grappling with issues their faith may not encompass (ie mixed faith marriages, divorce, a person’s sexual orientation), those seeking spirituality not necessarily religion, or those whose spiritual belief can’t be encompassed entirely by one faith.
Q What does the term ordained mean?
We’re ordained and certified by our community of elders - legally we fall into the category of “non-conformist” ministers.
Some traditions such as Buddhists and Christians use the term ordination. As their definition may differ from ours, we clarify that we use the term to indicate that we’ve been witnessed taking personal and individual vows, as well as group vows in a public ceremony during which we’ve been blessed and anointed by our elders and teachers.
Part of our group vows are to commit to living and working by a code of ethics.
Q What does the term minister mean?
We are not politicians nor members of the clergy nor claiming to be a new religion! We are a new kind of minister – we like to call ourselves 'The People’s Ministers' as we are not ministers of a church or religion. We minister to each person’s individual needs, or minister in a way which is inclusive to a group.
We’re not associated with any church or particular religious or spiritual path, nor do we have assigned parishes or posts. In Scotland we are three of a group of ministers available full time for ministry.
What we offer is in addition to what other religious leaders offer. Society’s needs and wants are changing and evolving. In terms of the dictionary definition “attend to the needs of” is what we aim to do as ministers - attend to the ever changing every day spiritual needs of our fellow human beings, whatever those needs might be.
“Thank you so much - the ceremony was amazing - we enjoyed every minute of it. So many people have commented on how heartfelt, upbeat and sincere your delivery was - you are all of those things. It has been just great having your support and guidance - we couldn't have done it without you.”
Julie and Robin