Horsham Humanists


Horsham Humanists is a local branch of West Sussex Humanists and represents the interests of the non-religious residents in and around Horsham.

Each month we discuss issues concerning religion and belief, ethics, equality, human rights and science, including current events.

We liase with Horsham District Council on matters concerning equality of religion and belief, and monitor Council activities, including proposals for new "faith" schools.

We are keen to campaign on behalf of non-religious residents who feel disadvantaged because of their beliefs, e.g. access to a community school, discrimination at work or through the delivery of local services.

We organise events, manage stalls and displays, invite prominent speakers, and give talks to local organisations, including schools and colleges.

We meet once a month, upstairs in the Anchor Hotel, 3 Market Square,Horsham, RH12 1EU (tel: 01403 250 640).

Meetings are from 8pm on the second Monday of the month. There is a £3 entrance charge for each meeting (£2 for BHA members). Annual membership is also available.

If you would like to meet some local freethinkers and have a chat, please come along and join us at the next meeting.




Typical agenda:

  • Business from 7.45pm to 8pm
  • Introductions
  • Local activities
  • Local and national news
  • Issue for debate/speaker/other event
  • AOB
For more details, contact Sarah

Horsham Humanists talk by celebrant Martin Wooller 6th February 2012

Martin began by giving us some statistics about non-religious ceremonies nationally. There are 312 trained Humanist celebrants who carry out 7000 funerals, 450 weddings and 500 baby namings each year. These numbers increase year on year. In Scotland, there are more Humanist weddings than Catholic weddings.

He went on to describe his experiences locally, beginning with the way in which he obtains work through the BHA website, funeral directors, personal referrals and so on. There is competition with other celebrants of non-religious ceremonies, including some clergy.

Martin talked about his approach to preparing and conucting a funeral. This takes around 12-15 hours and centers around visits to the family, where a listening approach is crucial in order to build a picture of the person who has passed away. Family members are often pleasantly surprised to learn about hidden details of their loved one. The emphasis of a Humanist funeral is to celebrate the life of a person. He provides the family with a copy of his researches, which can be chersihed reminder.

He recently conducted the funeral of a member's wife and was overwhelmed by the large number of people attending.

He also talked about some of the problems that can arise, and how to deal with them sensitively. Some family members may request some religious content, which may be accommodated by stepping away whilst another family member reads a prayer. Thed music to a popular hymn may be played without the words.

Martin showed us some appropriate non-religious poetry and prose that may be read. Also, a definition of Humanism for family members who are unfamiliar with the term.

Whilst a funeral is a sad occasion, people who attend a Humanist funeral frequently say that they enjoyed the experience.

Weddings, partnerships and baby namings were also discussed. There were the usual wide range of questions from members.

Martin came across as a very dedicated person and it was a pleasure to share his wide experience.

You can read Martin's profile on our local Humanist celebrant page.



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