Events & Workshops


FROME: Friday Sept 6th – Monday Sept 9th


Ulverston: Thursday Sept 12th– Sunday Sept  15th

Rites of Passage

with Gilly Adams & Sue Gill

rites of passage workshop

Rites of Passage Autumn Schools 2024

Rites of Passage Spring and Autumn Schools 2024 


Friday September 6th – Monday September 9th 

East Woodlands Village Hall, Frome, Somerset BA11 5LQ


Thursday September 12th– Sunday September  15TH

The Malt Kiln, Bardsea, Ulverston  LA12 9QT

For artists, teachers, community activists, arts workers, story tellers and anyone with a creative interest in acquiring the skills to make and lead ritual and ceremony.

The experience of Coronavirus and Lockdown threw into relief the pain caused by the absence of ceremony and the need to find alternative ways to mourn lives that have been lost, as well as marking more joyful events that have passed uncelebrated. Now more than ever, in this changing social and cultural environment, and in the context of the terrible events in the Ukraine and Gaza and the reality of climate change, the challenge is to create new and appropriate rites of passage, both public and domestic, that can be witnessed by family and friends, as well as the wider community, and help us to make sense of the world.

This challenge will be the starting point for both intensive 4 day workshops, which will focus on the Hows and Whys of ceremony and celebration in a practical and experiential way, and, in particular, on what is needed now.  We will investigate how both positive and negative life events can be distilled into myth and poetry and create meaningful rituals to contain them. Crucially, the workshops will be shaped to fulfil the needs and aspirations of participants so there will be plenty of opportunity to learn and practise different aspects of the art of creating both large and small ceremonies in a safe environment.

Gilly Adams and Sue Gill have been working together for more than twenty five years, first as part of Welfare State International and latterly under the banner of Dead Good Guides. They will share their experience of working as independent, secular celebrants, guiding families and individuals to create their own distinctive ceremonies.

It was one of the best trainings I have done with a great balance of teaching and direct experience that kept me active, immersed and reflective throughout. Laughter, tears, community, landscape, sacredness and plenty of profanity – marvellous. I will carry the experience with me for a very long time.

Michael Harvey, Storyteller 

Practical details: 

The workshop fee of £600 includes tuition, materials, 4 (vegetarian) lunches, refreshments and 1 evening meal, but does not include accommodation. There are 12 places available for each workshop and a non-refundable deposit of £100 secures a place, (although we will make a full refund if we are obliged to cancel for any reason). The balance is due two weeks before the start of the workshop and may be paid in instalments, if necessary

For further information or to book a place, contact:

Gilly Adams    02920 552389/ 0781 354 3990



Also taking place on Saturday 14th September from twilight –  will be an opportunity to witness this unique example of a Rite of Passage for and with the community of this small market town. We close the streets to traffic so four ‘rivers of light‘ converge and flow together, led by community street bands towards the Park for a finale.
As a public Rite of Passage, it offers an opportunity for individuals, generations and families to gather together with their homemade sculptural lanterns to mark the coming of autumn. A moment of excess to celebrate local creativity and belonging.
Started by Welfare State International under our direction, the model has now spread around the world.
For the last 16 years, it has been organised by dedicated volunteers and has gone from strength to strength.
Ulverston is now The Festivals’ Town.
Ulverston Lantern festival

Ulverston Lantern festival


01229 869769