Latest News

‘A victory for the right kind of secularism’: BHA welcomes court ruling overturning burkini ban in France

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today responded to the recent debate on the right to manifest one’s religious beliefs in public, which was sparked by the decision of several French local authorities to ban the wearing of ‘beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation’. These laws were passed in the wake of several attacks on […]

Stanley Johnson calls for labelling of meat slaughtered without pre-stunning

In an article for The Independent, former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson has called for mandatory labelling of meat that comes from animals that have been slaughtered without pre-stunning. Currently UK law requires all animals to be stunned prior to slaughter, except when the animals are being ritually slaughtered for halal or kosher meat. The British Humanist […]

Lord Rix pleads to legalise assisted dying

Lord Brian Rix, one of Britain’s most famous actors, has revealed he is terminally ill and called for the legalisation of assisted dying so that he can ‘slip away peacefully’.  The move represents a change in heart for crossbench peer Rix, who has previously voted against any change in the law. The British Humanist Association […]

‘Long-term trend away from religion looks set to accelerate’: BHA comments on release of latest British Social Attitudes Survey

Today sees the publication of the latest annual results from NatCen Social Research’s British Social Attitudes Survey. The question in the survey about religious belonging records 48% of the population as being of no religion, a one percent decline from the year before, and three percent down on 2009. The Telegraph reports this as ‘show[ing] decades […]

BHA expresses concerns on state of children’s rights in 2016

In response to a call for evidence from the Children’s Rights Alliance of England, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed a number of concerns regarding the position of children’s rights in England. Highlighting developments over the last year specifically, the BHA’s response identifies the narrowing of the religious education (RE) curriculum, inadequate sex and […]

70 Rabbis challenge Chief Rabbi over exclusive position on religious selection in school admissions

Rabbis from across the UK have written an open letter to the new Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening opposing calls made by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis for new ‘faith’ schools to be allowed to select all of their places on the basis of religion. The Chief Rabbi has reportedly been putting significant […]

Government quietly approves yet more state-funded religious schools

Amidst the ongoing political wrangling in Westminster, the Government has quietly announced the latest set of Free Schools to be given approval to open from September 2018 and beyond. The list includes three new religious schools. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has again criticised the Government for continuing to approve divisive and discriminatory ‘faith’ schools […]

National first as University of Westminster appoints paid Secular Adviser, accredited by British Humanist Association

The University of Westminster has broken new ground by appointing the UK’s first ever paid pastoral adviser for non-religious people. Isabel Millar, the university’s new Secular Adviser, comes to the university trained and accredited by the British Humanist Association (BHA), the UK’s national charity for non-religious people. Universities have long employed chaplains and multi-faith advisers […]

‘Pioneers of a new and necessary service’ commended by parliamentarians in APPHG meeting held on non-religious pastoral support

On Tuesday the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) hosted the first ever meeting in Parliament on non-religious pastoral support. The meeting heard from humanist pastoral support volunteers in hospital, prison and armed forces settings, as well as Mike Kavanagh, the Head of Chaplaincy of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), and Mark Burleigh, the Head of […]

‘We are standing by with a 100% cure and not using it’: Government oppose tried and tested measure to reduce number of birth defects and abortions

Members of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) in the House of Lords spoke out on Friday in support of a private members’ bill that would reduce the number of fatal foetal abnormalities thereby reducing the number of abortions for the same reason. The Bread and Flour Regulations (Folic Acid) Bill is being proposed […]

‘Young people denied education for safe relationships in schools in England’ BHA responds to Women and Equalities Committee consultation

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has once again criticised the Department for Education’s (DfE) stance on making personal, social, health, and economic education (PSHE), including sex and relationships education (SRE), compulsory in English schools. Responding to a call for evidence from the Women and Equalities Committee, the BHA stated that the DfE’s rhetoric on the […]

Church of England in bid to open more than one hundred new schools

The Church of England has announced that it will seek to open more than one hundred new schools by 2020 as part of the Government’s free school programme. The plans were announced at a meeting of the Church’s General Synod on Sunday, at which the chair of the Anglican Board of Education, the Bishop of […]