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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 […]

Success! Hitting children banned as bill to abolish ‘reasonable punishment’ in Wales becomes law

Wales Humanists has welcomed a historic Act that will outlaw the physical punishment of children in Wales, calling it ‘a huge success for children’s rights’. The Act, which received royal assent on Friday and will come into force in March 2022, abolishes the defence of ‘reasonable punishment’ in cases of assault by a parent or […]

New funeral guidelines issued: live streaming, delayed memorials, and gestures to replace hugging

Humanists UK has facilitated new industry-wide Coronavirus guidelines for funeral celebrants, encouraging celebrants to hold live video streaming of cremations and private ‘in home’ memorials, no handling paper such as scripts and song sheets, and new gestures to replace hugging and kissing between mourners. The guidelines, published by the Funeral Celebrancy Council and issued by […]

Message from the Chief Executive

First I’d like to thank everyone who has contacted us with good wishes and to check on the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers in the office and elsewhere. Because of our excellent IT team, we have been able to have our staff working from their own homes for some time and we […]

New Zealand decriminalises abortion, prompting calls to do the same in UK

The New Zealand Parliament has passed a new law decriminalising abortion, and reclassified it specifically as a healthcare issue. Humanists UK, which has campaigned for decades to decriminalise abortion across the UK, has welcomed New Zealand’s new law. Previously, abortion in New Zealand was regulated by the Crimes Act, which only allowed abortion in cases […]

Humanists UK services during the epidemic

As well as cancelling our public and member events between now and the end of July, Humanists UK is responding to the coronavirus pandemic across its range of community services by making important changes to the way they are carried out. Funerals, weddings, and namings Our celebrants are already making the necessary adjustments to make […]

Coronavirus and our public and member events

Much of our work involves bringing non-religious people together to learn together, shape their own ideas, and forge community. While that work will continue online, our public lectures and events programme will need to take a pause in light of the coronavirus pandemic. We are cancelling all of our local and national events between now […]

Humanists UK welcomes Sudan proposal to abolish death penalty for apostasy

Humanists UK has welcomed the Sudanese Government’s announcement that it plans to abolish the death penalty for apostasy, but says the law must go further and decriminalise both blasphemy and apostasy which will still carry severe penalities for anyone convicted. In a statement issued by a member of the transitional government of Sudan and published […]

Humanist Ceremonies statement on Coronavirus, including funerals

In light of the UK Government’s latest advice on social distancing and ‘non-essential social contact’ Humanists UK is currently reviewing guidance for Humanist Ceremonies, its network of celebrants who conduct weddings, funerals, and naming ceremonies. Celebrants will be working with couples and families very closely, supporting them to understand the options available to them, while […]

Humanists call for legal protection against hate crimes in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Humanists and Faith to Faithless have called for humanists to be protected from hate crimes equally to their religious counterparts, in its submission to a review in Northern Ireland of hate crime legislation led by Judge Marrinan. The current law covering hate crime defines ‘religious group’ as ‘a group of persons defined by […]

Humanists UK calls for stronger legal rights for the non-religious in Iraq and Iran

Humanists UK has called upon the Iranian and Iraqi Governments to officially recognise non-religious people in law, and to immediately repeal their blasphemy and apostasy laws which are used to persecute religious and non-religious minorities, in two interventions at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Speaking as part of the […]

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