14 November 2005

Sunday's meeting (13th November) was the Annual General Meeting of the Society and was well attended. Plans for refurbishment of the Secular Hall over the next few years, with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, seem to be on track. This also fits into plans for the general redevelopment of the 'cultural area' around the Hall. Our member Allan Hayes reported on these developments on behalf of the Building Committee.

The President Lyn Hurst and Vice-President Michael Gerard were re-elected, and most of the existing committee re-appointed, but I decided to retire from it (though I will be carrying on maintaining the website), and Chris Williams, who used to be active with the Leicester Radical Alliance, has agreed to join the committee.

It was agreed after a good presentation by Eleanor Davidson, and a debate to which most members present contributed, that our literature (i.e. the programme of lectures) will add details about secular weddings, affirmations and naming ceremonies as well as funerals. It was made clear that the types of humanist ceremonies we have in mind are in no manner religious, and are tailored to individual requirements. Such ceremonies will not, as yet , take place in the Hall itself.

Are there standard texts for secular weddings and funerals?
I believe there are various collections of humanist verse and suchlike that can be selected from as appropriate.

However, Eleanor wrote to me:

There should be no standard texts for a humanist funeral, wedding, naming. Each ceremony should be scripted individually in accordance with personalities and wishes of those involved.

However, many people have to endure a "humanist" ceremony carried out by a Church of England vicar - these ceremonies allude to God, and follow a standard script. In some towns and cities the majority of so-called "humanist" ceremonies are carried out by these people - which tarnishes and
ridicules true humanist ceremonies.

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