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Non-religious pastoral carers return to frontline duty in prisons

All non-religious pastoral carers will be able to return to frontline duty in prisons across England and Wales this week to continue to provide essential pastoral and emotional support to prisoners during the Covid-19 crisis. Volunteers in prisons had been stood down in the early stages of the outbreak to reduce footfall in institutions, but […]

Celebrants told to review funeral numbers with families in advance to help keep people safe

In response to new guidance on funerals issued yesterday by the Government, including on funeral attendance, Humanists UK’s Head of Ceremonies Isabel Russo said: ‘The law stipulates that you can only leave your home to attend a funeral if it is for a member of your household, a close family member, or – if the […]

100 years of Welsh disestablishment: a proud legacy of pluralism and inclusion

Wales Humanists today celebrates 100 years of the disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales which led to the nation being more secular and plural, but says more needs to be done to ensure equality for all people, regardless of religion or belief. The Welsh Church Act 1914 disestablished the Church of England in […]

Success! Safe, legal abortion access begins in Northern Ireland

Abortion will become legally available in Northern Ireland from today, after years of efforts to bring women’s rights in line with the rest of the UK and Ireland. Last October the Westminster Parliament passed legislation that removed abortion from criminal law, repealing an 150-year-old law that made seeking an abortion an imprisonable offence. Northern Ireland […]

Humanist heritage: Unearthing the rich history of humanism in the UK with Madeleine Goodall

Madeleine Goodall is Humanists UK’s new Heritage Coordinator, leading our Humanist Heritage Project, celebrating the 125-year history of Humanists UK. Hi Maddy. Can you tell us a bit more about your work? As Humanist Heritage Coordinator, I am working on a project to research, share, and celebrate the long history of humanism in the UK. […]

Couples opt for online pre-wedding ceremonies: love in the time of coronavirus

Couples are adjusting to a strange new era. A temporary ban on weddings in the UK means couples whose weddings were due to take place this spring are now in the process of postponing their ceremonies. But humanist celebrants are coming up with an ingenious way to celebrate the planned date with a promissory ‘pre-wedding […]

Women in England and Wales to receive abortion care at home during COVID-19

UPDATE: Since this news item was originally published on 30 March, the Welsh Government, on 1 April, announced the women in Wales will also be able to access abortion care through e-consultations and take pills in their homes. The Government will announce that it intends to publish guidance allowing women seeking an early abortion to […]

Humanists UK mourns its patron Ted Graham (1925-2020)

Humanists UK is sad to learn of the death of its patron Lord (Ted) Graham, who was also a long-serving member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG). A firm humanist and a Labour Co-operative politician practically his whole life, Ted in many ways worked in the tradition of his forebear George Jacob Holyoake, the […]

Humanists begin weekly broadcasts on prison radio to raise hope during epidemic

Humanists have begun weekly broadcasts on the national radio station for prisoners as part of a new initiative to raise hope and offer support during the epidemic among prisoners, many of whom are being confined to their cells for 23 hours a day because of new Coronavirus restrictions. Through the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network, Humanists […]

Advancing humanism in Wales: an interview with Kathy Riddick, Wales Humanists Coordinator

Kathy Riddick is the Wales Humanists Coordinator, working on the behalf of the non-religious in Wales to promote humanism, a secular state, and equal treatment for everyone regardless of religion or belief. We spoke to Kathy about her work, this year’s celebrations of the 100th anniversary of disestablishment, and what this means in a plural, […]

Humanist funeral celebrants and pastoral carers continue work as ‘key workers’

Humanist pastoral carers working in hospitals, hospices, and prisons, along with humanist funeral celebrants, have been recognised as ‘key workers’ during the current crisis. Humanist pastoral carers operate in 45% of NHS trusts in England and Wales providing non-religious pastoral care. They are highly trained individuals who provide a like-minded, listening ear to people at […]

Humanists UK mourns Tristan Garel-Jones (1941-2020)

Humanists UK is saddened to hear of the death of its patron Tristan Garel-Jones, a former MP and peer who served for many years as Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. Tristan Garel-Jones was born in 1941 and educated at King’s School Canterbury. First elected in 1979, Lord Garel-Jones had a distinguished career in […]

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