Welcome to West Sussex Humanists

Humanism is the view that we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values, and live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.

We represent the interests of the non-religious residents of West Sussex in local government, support Human Rights, and work towards equality and social cohesion.

West Sussex Humanists is also an umbrella organisation of local affiliated groups that meet regularly, currently Horsham Humanists and Chichester Humanists.

Our next meetings

19th December Chichester

Social meeting

Chichester Inn

8th January Horsham

Social meeting

Chichester Inn


Councillors pray to God for guidance

In March 2015, the government introduced the Local Government (Religious Observances) Act allowing councils to hold prayers during their meetings, overturning a High Court decision in 2011 (see below).

Horsham Humanists meeting 5th January 2011

This was our first meeting in the new venue, the B52s pub in Piries Place, which proved most suitable. It is also very convenient for parking.


Haywards Heath meeting 9th December 2010

This was our first meeting in the Dolphin pub, which turned out to be an ideal venue for our fledgling group. We agreed that future meetings should start at 7pm. A larger venue will also be needed for certain events. A small entrance fee will be charged for meetings, rather than annual subscriptions.

We heard brief introductions from two new members who made positive contributions throughout the meeting. A few other new members couldn't make this meeting. It looks like this group will take off in 2011, along with Horsham and Chichester.


Horsham Humanists meeting 13th October 2010

This informal meeting was held at the home of a member, where we discussed a range of issues, especially science and education.

The nature of future meetings was considered. It was agreed that our intitial objective should be to establish a regular time and place to meet, and to build interest through advertising, including holding a stall at local events.

We learned that the local council has been contacted and may be willing to provide a suitable venue.


Haywards Heath Humanists first meeting 11th May 2010

Consuelo and I met at Cafe Rouge for an informal meeting.

I explained the sequence of events leading to the formation of West Sussex Humanists and the local member groups.

Consuelo contrasted living conditions and women's rights between the UK and Peru, her country of origin. After exploring various organisations, she found out about West Sussex Humanists (then Mid Sussex Freethinkers) through the internet.

She supports the Optimum Population Trust and recently took part in an event in London supporting One Law for All.

We will be working together to make more local contacts and help Haywards Heath Humanists the local representative group for the non-religious.


West Sussex SACRE Meeting 8th March 2010

SACRE advises West Sussex County Council (WSCC) on religious education (RE) and the daily act of worship in community schools. It meets 3 times a year. Read more about SACRE.

Today's meeting at Hazelwick Secondary School, Crawley, was the first to be held outside of Chichester. Every Spring meeting will be held at a different school in West Sussex.


Councillor Griffiths Ignores the Non-Religious of West Sussex

Councillor Peter Griffiths, Cabinet Member for Education and Schools in West Sussex, has once again prevented the non-religious from being represented on the local Religious Education (RE) council (SACRE).

Using the Freedom of Information Act, West Sussex Humanists have discovered that the RE advisor for West Sussex suggested that a Humanist and Buddhist could join the RE council together (read more). This was as far back as summer 2009.


SACRE meeting 8th November 2010

I was unable to attend this meeting. The following is based on the unconfirmed minutes.

The section entitled Membership of the SACRE did not mention my application for Humanist membership. Derek Jones, Baptist vice-chair, announced later that the application had not been discussed by SACRE and so it would not be mentioned in the annual report either. How convenient. One can only conclude that WSCC will do everything in their power to exclude the non-religious 43% of residents from involvement in the so-called Religious Education of their children.


Horsham Humanists meeting 8th December 2010

We met for the last time in the home of one of the members. Future meetings will take place in a central venue to be decided soon.

This was an action packed convivial meeting in which the running of the group was discussed in some detail, along with a range of topical issues.

Damian Brewer, Equality & Diversity Officer for Horsham District Council, was in attendance and provided us with useful advice and contacts.


BBC Sussex interview with Sarah Gorrell about "faith" schools


A short interview with Sarah Gorrell about "faith" schools (this is a 4.1MB mp3 file).


Crawley InterFaith Network Meeting 27th March 2010

This important meeting of Crawley InterFaith Network (CIFN) took place in Crawley Town Hall and was attended by about 40 people, including representatives of Crawley Borough Council.

After a few preliminaries, Mohinder Galowalia used a PowerPoint presentation to talk about Community Cohesion and how CIFN could contribute towards this.


Humanist Talk at Horsham InterFaith Forum

Horsham InterFaith Forum invited British Humanist Association representative Andrew Edmondson to give a talk entitled "A Humanist looks at Faith" on 27th February 2010.

The Unitarian Church hall was filled with a lively group of people of varying beliefs. Several Humanists attended.


Muslim women speakers at The Hawth

On 27th January 2010, Crawley Inter Faith Network (CIFN) organised a talk at The Hawth, in association with "Faith Matters" as part of their "Making your Voices Heard" project.

The two Muslim speakers were a human rights lawyer and a writer on issues of the Middle East, women and race. Both speakers were on tour from the USA.


Remembrance Sunday Campaign

The Chichester Observer made a video and wrote an article covering the laying of a Humanist wreath after the main religious ceremony. A transcript of the speech can be downloaded here.

The non-religious should be represented on the Religious Education advisory council
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