The C Word

  I’ve had two letters recently from humanists who are exploring the possibility of working in chaplaincy, which is very encouraging. A few years ago, I wrote an article about the problems humanists have with the very idea of chaplaincy and, as things don’t appear to have changed a great deal outside of my own university, I … Continue Reading

Remembrance Friday

I was honoured to be asked to deliver a Remembrance address to the staff of the Scottish Government at St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh yesterday.  As no humanist has ever been invited to be part of an official event of this kind, it meant a lot, and it seemed very fitting that it happened 99 years … Continue Reading

Remembrance Day

I was invited by the Scottish Government to speak at their Ceremony of Remembrance earlier today at St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh. It’s the first time that a humanist has ever been part of an official event of this kind, so it was a great honour.       The Armistice was signed at the eleventh hour of … Continue Reading

Is Thought For the Day boring?

John Humphrys seems to think so. In an interview with the Radio Times, he said the slot is “deeply, deeply boring”, and argues for the inclusion of thoughts for the day from secular thinkers.  It’s not the first time that this claim has been made, but the BBC doesn’t agree, and it’s unlikely if Thought … Continue Reading

The Future of Humanism

“Humanism is now facing an existential challenge and the idea of “free will” is under threat.”  This is an excerpt from an article by the Israeli academic and thinker Yuval Hariri who book “Homo Deus” I’ve been reading recently.  The article in the Financial Times is well worth reading for anyone who thinks that Humanism … Continue Reading

What is Humanism?

Despite the popularity of humanist ceremonies in Scotland, most people still don’t know what humanism is, so I was delighted to be asked, as the Honorary Humanist Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, to give this talk at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 19th September at the David Hume Tower in George Square. It’s been organised … Continue Reading

Humanist Weddings in Scotland – More Popular than Ever!

It made me laugh when I saw my photo with this headline, but I really don’t think it’s all down to me! Yes it’s a big story, but there’s another one in among the statistics published by the National Register of Scotland: the continuing rise and rise of humanist marriage. While ceremonies conducted by Humanist Society Scotland … Continue Reading

Can you spare 15 minutes?

The lovely people at the Scottish Wedding Directory came round this morning to do a Live Facebook Chat: as a former producer and director, it was fascinating to see what you can do with just an iPhone,  a tripod and a microphone.Whether what I had to say about what makes humanist weddings so special is … Continue Reading

A Light For Aleppo

Watching the war in Syria for the last four years has been depressing, frustrating and disempowering, but Harriet Harris, my friend and colleague at the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy Centre, has come up with a great initiative, which we launched this evening on the beach in North Berwick. It’s called A Light For Aleppo, and … Continue Reading

Are you a Humanist?

There are lots of definitions of what humanists believe. The Amsterdam Declaration is the best known, but when we at the CHA decided to give free membership to anyone who wants it, we decided to give a simpler definition, and here it is. Most humanist organisations define themselves by what they’re not and what they … Continue Reading