Meet the St Margaret’s Funerals Team

Julie Lacey  –  Head of Funeral Services

Julie has made Somerset her home for the past 40 years having moved down from Kent with her parents as a child. She adores the area, its people and the diversity it has to offer.

She now lives in Burnham-on-Sea with husband Mike and their Labradoodle Monty. Despite the ferocious winds, they can often be found wandering the beaches along that stretch of coastline so if you see them, stop to say hello!

Julie felt a calling to the funeral profession after attending her Brother-in-Law’s funeral over 15 years ago. It was the first funeral she had attended as an adult and she felt it was such a worthwhile business to be involved in as well as providing the opportunity of being able to do something sincerely rewarding at the end of a person’s life. Driven by a passion to help others Julie looked for the opportunity to work within the funeral industry and it took several years for her to find a suitable position as she wanted to combine a part-time role whilst looking after her young daughter, Charlotte.  Charlotte is now 20 and studying at the University of Preston.

Julie’s funeral career began as a part-time Funeral Arranger in Clevedon, and she loved it. However, handing over the families she had cared for throughout their time of grief to the Funeral Director on the day of the funeral service saddened her.  Julie  felt that the personal relationship she had established with those families should be seen through from beginning to end allowing a consistent level of care from a familiar person to the client. Julie worked hard, asked lots of questions of her colleagues and volunteered for other roles to enhance her professional development in order to carry out the role she felt families both wanted and deserved.

In 2013 Julie’s hard work was recognised as she was promoted to Funeral Director. Having a flare, enthusiasm and commitment to excellent standards of service saw her promoted once again the following year to Principal Funeral Director. This role was perfect for Julie who loved being able to help families, assist in the care of their loved one, organise the team to help her deliver  high standards of support and became a vital part of the wider community.

In 2017 Julie found herself taking another promotion to Senior Funeral Director in and around the Bristol area, but soon realised that it was not a good fit for her as she missed the hands on, day to day contact with the families and her teams and she felt that the individual, unique funerals that she wanted to conduct were now drifting further away from her.

In order to fulfil her desire to work closely with families, Julie joined St Margaret’s Funerals in December 2017 and has said “it feels like the perfect match for me. I truly believe that we can make a difference for bereaved families by offering a totally unique, personal funeral for everyone that captures special memories and meaning. We are at the start of something very special here in Somerset and I feel both excited and privileged to be able to serve the people of this community for many years to come”.

Julie Lacey
Julie Lacey

Angela Morteo – Funeral Assistant

Angela was born and raised in Bristol, which for those of you who have met Angela you may have guessed by her strong Bristolian accent!

In 2001 Angela moved to Weston Super Mare to be near her Niece and Nephew. This turned out to be a great move for Angela as she soon met and married her husband Pete and become a step-mum to three lovely boys.

Angela has enjoyed a successful career spanning 26 years in the financial industry. Initially Angela had worked in the field of Insurance and Pensions, followed by twelve years in Banking, where she steadily worked her way up to the position of Branch Manager.

Whilst working for the Bank, Angela was lucky enough to get a career break opportunity and being driven by a passion to help others she travelled to Nepal and did voluntary work in an orphanage. This was an amazing and life changing moment for Angela who witnessed first-hand the extreme poverty and suffering that some people face in life compared with the wealth and opulence of others. She decided to pursue a career away from the Banking sector on her return to the UK.

Angela initially joined an accounts office and utilising her drive and ambition simultaneously retrained and studied for an accounts diploma which after three hard years of night school resulted in the worthwhile experience of graduating and a cap and gown ceremony.

In 2015 Angela’s father was unfortunately diagnosed with Lung Fibrosis. Angela had a huge desire to spend more time with him and be available to look after him as he became more poorly. In order to do this Angela looked for a part-time position locally. It was at this time that she saw an advert for a Funeral Operative. Having been intrigued by this line of work for a long time Angela applied and with her natural personality for caring for others shining through, the company were delighted to offer Angela the position. It soon became apparent that she had found her vocation in life and she quickly realised that she received great fulfilment from helping others at a time when they needed it most.

Her father died in 2017 and working in the industry she felt luckier than most to be in a position to personally help with his funeral arrangements. Her colleagues were all very supportive and the experience gave her a first-hand insight into the importance of caring, compassionate and professional people to guide families at a time of bereavement.

Angela joined St Margaret’s Funerals in January 2018 and is a valued member of our team.  Taking a huge pride in her work she says “A lot of family and friends are surprised by the career I have chosen in life and ask me why I picked this particular path? I tell them that it is the most rewarding work I have ever done and that I feel very privileged to be able to be part of such an important event in people’s lives. The loss of a loved one is the most stressful and traumatic experience we face in life and to be given the responsibility to help and support families through their time of grief is a difficult role but one that is immeasurably rewarding”.

Angela Morteo
Angela Morteo

Terena Gill – Funeral Administrator

Terena was born in Somerset in the early 60’s, where she lived on a farm. Her father was a ploughman and her mother raised chickens on a large scale. She moved to the village of North Newton when she was just 6 and attended the local school until moving to Blake comprehensive in Bridgwater at age 11.

Always being the outdoors enthusiast who lived for the Girl Guides, becoming a Queen’s Guide in 1976, was one of Terena’s proudest moments. It was no surprise when she announced to her parents that she wanted to join the Army, where she spent five happy years as a driver, driving ambulances, trucks and staff cars.

Terena has had a long and varied career working in fundraising spanning 25 years and three charities, from international (Actionaid), National (Barnardos), and lastly county based with St Margaret’s Hospice Care.

Terena loves working with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It was while working for St Margaret’s Hospice that Terena found herself working very closely with recently bereaved families; helping them come to terms with the loss of someone close by doing something positive and giving something back to the hospice.

Terena said it was an easy decision to apply for the post of funeral administrator and Terena was overjoyed when offered the position. Terena said “it is such an honour to be on hand when families need you at what is often the saddest moment in their lives. To be able to offer solutions to funeral problems can be very comforting to the family. I have learnt that families want the funeral to be a lasting tribute to their loved one and now I am able to make that happen. Whether it is an unattended service, or a full church service with burial. Every funeral is special to the family and friends who want to be able to say goodbye their way. At my brother-in-law’s funeral, who was a painter and decorator, instead of flowers, he had the last paint pot and brush that he used atop his coffin. Something so simple and yet so poignant”.

Things have been hard for families during the restrictions that COVID-19 has brought about but we have continued to provide professional and yet intimate funeral services, whilst following guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Terena is now based in our new Bridgwater funeral home where we have a chapel that will be able to accommodate up to twenty people with a minister or celebrant once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Terena is looking forward to being able to offer open mornings when the public can come along to the funeral home in Bridgwater and meet the staff, and local people such as celebrants, over a cup of coffee. The office is warm and inviting while the family room provides privacy to families and a quiet space to meet with the funeral director.

Terena Gill
Terena Gill