A Claygate minister was recognised in the ‘Death Oscars’, beating hundreds of nominees from across the UK.

Emma Curtis, a non-religious minister, offers bereaved families pastoral care and a personalised funeral ceremony without the constraints of traditional religion.

She aims to prioritise the family’s beliefs, whether they are religious or not.

Her service was recognised at The Good Funeral Awards 2017, when she came second in the Best Minister category at the ceremony at the Porchester Hall on September 7.

She said: “It’s such an honour to be runner up for this award. It's great to be recognised alongside traditional ministers who are doing a brilliant job. But it's also important for people to know that they can be supported at their time of need in a way that fits their own beliefs, however individual.

“You can have the unique ceremony you want and need to say goodbye, plus the holistic support to get through it."

The Good Funeral Awards, in its sixth year, is supported by the Good Funeral Guide and the Natural Death Centre, and aimed to humanise the “much misunderstood” industry.

Fran Hall, CEO of The Good Funeral Guide, said: “The Good Funeral Awards recognise exceptional service to bereaved people from all aspects of the funeral industry and supporting services. By progressing this far, Emma Curtis has already demonstrated outstanding professionalism, empathy and a willingness to go the extra mile.”