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

12th November Horsham

Meeting cancelled

20th November Chichester

Think and Drink Social
Should the UK be selling arms to Saudi Arabia?

Chichester Inn

Horsham Humanists meeting 2nd February 2011

We welcomed an enthusiastic new member to the group. With each new member, the group is developing its identity.

We finalised the formalities of setting up the group and were informed that affiliation to the BHA is well underway. The extensive benefits of affiliation were discussed.

We looked at a preview of the new website which is about to go live. More features will be added when time allows.


Crawley Together Conference 2011

Around 200 people attended this conference at the Hawth centre, run by Crawley Borough Council.

Julian Dobson, of Urban Polinators, gave a talk entitled "More for less and partnership working". He showed how Twitter, Facebook and other online services can be used to share information and network with each other.

He said that the unemployed should be seen as a valuable resource that should be empowered to contribute to society, rather than waste time applying for non-existent jobs with the threat of withdrawal of benefits.


Should schools require Christian worship?

Read this interesting and topical article in the Guardian and take part in their Comments below.

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).


Chichester Humanists meeting 19th January 2011

Our inaugural meeting of Chichester Humanists began with interesting introductions from the 10 Humanists present.

Two representatives of the Chichester University Atheist, Humanist and Agnostic society (UCSU AHA) were present and gave an account of the activities of their new group, which was formed in response to a strong Christian influence felt within the university. They have 56 members at present.


Haywards Heath meeting 13th January 2011

We started this friendly meeting with an introduction from a new member who gave an interesting account of student life at Warwick University as a member of their Atheist, Humanist and Agnostic society.

Our first business was to discuss the Census 2011 campaign, referring to the BHA campaign poster. We considered the implications of the erroneous Census 2001 statistic that 72% of the UK population are Christian, especially religious organisations taking over welfare services and more schools.


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.


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.

Read more

Council prayers campaign

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).

Read more

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