We live in a society where many individuals and families are no longer choosing to conform to and live by a single faith or belief. Increasingly, as Independent Celebrants, we are being asked to provide Agnostic ceremonies for families. Ceremonies that reflect the unique blend of individual and shared beliefs within couples and families, whether that include elements of faith-based, spiritual or non-religious ethos.
We are a group of Independent Celebrants who believe strongly that families should be able to decide how and where they choose to mark the momentous occasions in their lives, however big or small, religious or secular, traditional or unconventional. For those that do not ascribe to any one faith or a non-religious ethos, the ceremony they choose for their Wedding, Naming, Funeral, or any other meaningful life-transition event, should reflect and respond to their own varied, often multi-faceted, sometimes shared and occasionally contradictory beliefs. In short, we believe there should be an option for families to choose an Agnostic ceremony, one that puts them at the heart of their ceremony.
Until now, in Scotland, choice has been limited for any couple wishing to be legally married to opt for either a religious, inter-faith, or non-religious ceremony. There has been no legal option available to couples wishing to seal their marriage vows in an Agnostic ceremony that uniquely responds to and reflects their unique beliefs, values and wishes. Through Agnostic Scotland, we can now offer a legally-recognised and important additional option to families by providing Agnostic ceremonies that reflect and respond to their own beliefs, values and wishes, provided they adhere to our moral and ethical values.
Agnostic Scotland is a not-for-profit organisation. All our surplus is reinvested into our Community Fund. We believe passionately that all families should have access to affordable, meaningful, people-centred ceremonies. Through our Community Fund, we seek to offer affordable ceremonies to families who would otherwise find it hard to pay for them.
We believe in community, collaboration and the collective and also wish to support values based causes, projects and organisations across Scotland
It is early days. We are delighted that through Agnostic Scotland, we are now able to apply for Marriage Licences to conduct legal Weddings for families choosing an Agnostic ceremony. Our goal within the next five years is to apply for a Permanent Marriage Licence for Agnostic Scotland.
We have now established a Steering Group for Agnostic Scotland, which aims to represent the wide diversity of individuals across Scotland and ensures that we are doing everything we can to reach all communities.
We are also expanding our network of Agnostic Scotland Celebrants. We have recruited six trainee Life Celebrants and are currently providing in-house training, ensuring ongoing CPD for all Agnostic Scotland Celebrants in return for a 10% donation to Agnostic Scotland for any ceremonies they conduct.
We continue to aspire to become a more diverse organisation.