Leicester Secular Society
for an inclusive and plural society free from religious privilege, prejudice and discrimination.
(established 1851)
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IHEU affiliated Group
National Secular Society Affiliated Group
British Humanist Association Affiliated Group
Friend of
Friend of British Institute of Human Rights


Supporter of Uganda Humanist Schools Trust

Biffa Award 2013

Freethinker Magazine
Magazine

About Us

Leicester Secular Society is the leading organisation in Leicestershire advocating and campaigning for an inclusive and plural society free from religious privilege, prejudice and discrimination.

The Society is committed to:

  • promoting the rights of freedom of belief and expression for all those who accord the same rights to others;
  • creating a civil society that is for everyone equally, that promotes respect for individual human rights and encourages trust and co-operation between those sharing these values;
  • opposing policies that emphasise religious identity and allow religious discrimination or indoctrination in education and social services;
  • opposing religious privilege and the promotion of any religion by the state.

Join us

Membership of Leicester Secular Society is inexpensive and we have special household and concession rates. If you support our aims please consider joining us.

Today, Leicester Secular Society members continue to be active in all aspects of society and in all areas of community life. We have members involved with environment groups, political parties, asylum seekers, Palestine Solidarity, TEDx, Skeptics in the Pub, cycle campaigning and Red Leicester Choir among others. The Society is also affiliated to (but independent of) the British Humanist Association , the National Secular Society and a member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

The Society aims to provide a stimulating atmosphere nurturing debate and creativity. Regular talks, meetings and events continue to be held at Leicester Secular Hall, one of the world's last surviving Secular Halls, built in 1881. The Hall and Society together provide a local base for loosely bound groups and individuals to join forces with a view to creating a better world.

What's on?

A fundamental principle of Secularism is rationalism and the pursuit of knowledge. The Society hosts a regular programme of informative talks on history, science, politics, poetry and art by local, national and international speakers. Recent highlights included talks on religion and Human Rights, ex-Muslims, under-nutrition in rural India and co-operation as part of natural selection together with a jazz evening and a feast. The talks are open to all, free (although we do appreciate donations towards costs) and run most Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm. We also host occasional events at other times.

Please take time to look at our programme of talks and forthcoming events.

The Leicester Secularist

Our (almost) bi-monthly journal is packed with topical articles and opinion, information and updates about our campaigns, reviews of recent talks and more. We also rather sporadically write a blog column - unsurprisingly named Leicester Secularist Blog.

Browse the Leicester Secularist and our Blog.

Secularism, Campaigns and Ceremonies

Secularists seek to eliminate the influence of religion on Government and Education and are committed to fighting religious prejudice, particularly in attitudes to sexuality, racism, immigration, womens' rights, abortion, and assisted dying. Key activities include contributing topical comments to the media, visiting schools and religious groups to talk about secularism, local campaigning against faith schools. We support the British Humanist Association in its work to provide alternatives to religious ceremonies and counselling. Read more about secularism, our current campaigns and non-religious ceremonies.

History

For the past 160 years, Leicester Secular Society has provided a haven for the pursuit of knowledge, a shelter for free thought and radical politics, and a forum for literary, scientific and philosophical debate.

The Secular movement in Leicester possesses a long and distinguished history; closely linked with the Arts and Crafts movement, workers self-education, and socialism. Since its inception in 1851, the Society has campaigned against the intrusion of religious power in politics and education and was instrumental in making atheism a respectable standpoint in Victorian England. Rather than converging on a particular political or moral consensus, the Society encourages freedom of speech and a spectrum of individual opinions. Society members are active in a variety of local campaign groups and autonomous organisations which support human rights and equality before the law.

Leicester Secular Society members have a strong tradition of involvement with radical politics and campaign groups. Early secularists were heavily influenced by the ideas of William Morris, striving to create 'independent utopias in what seemed to be an otherwise barren urban landscape created by those privileged with property and the established church.'

You can read more of our history here and on our archive pages.

Library

Leicester Secular Hall is home to one of the oldest libraries in Leicester, comprising five bookcases brimming with eclectic philosophical and political reading material. The Society has also published numerous books and pamphlets. Our archives are available for academic research and can be borrowed by Society members.

For a list of available titles please view our extensive library catalogue.

News

28 November 2018 - No More Faith Schools is a national campaign dedicated to bringing about an end to state funded faith schools launched by the National Secular Society. Faith schools have a negative impact on social cohesion, foster segregation of children on social, ethnic and religious lines, and undermine choice and equality. They also enable religious groups to use public money to evangelise to children. This campaign is a platform for everyone who wants to see an inclusive education system, free from religious control. Please sign the petition.

2 October 2018: Autumn edition of Leicester Secularist (No.79) - Should Public Assets be Used for the Indoctrination of Children? - Decline in Church of England & Church of Scotland - Free speech and the Holocaust - Hell & back - The Joy of Tax - George Jacob Holyoake - Louie Croxtall 1914-2018 - these and many other articles in 16 pages of news, comment and reviews from LSS.

7 September 2018: The Commission on Religious Education has published its final report on the future of RE teaching in England.You can read the report and the analysis by the National Secular Society on its website. Please support their efforts to reform RE, and the general direction of this report and write to your MP. You can start with their template letter. Let's take this opportunity to push for true reform and consign confessionalist RE to the history books.

1 September 2018: The Society's Secular Hall Autumn Events Programme (September - December 2018) can now be downloaded here. Includes talks on air pollution by Professor Paul Monks and the Cooperative movement by Dorothy Francis..

more on our blog ...

Sign up for updates from the Society

Have you done or been involved in - or just seen or heard - something interesting for local secularists?
Email contact @ Lsec . org . uk (close spaces).

Leicester Secular Society Ltd
is a company
limited by guarantee.
Reg. 06292639.
Registered office: 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester
LE1 1WB.

lsec.org.uk LeicesterSecularSociety.org.uk SecularHall.org.uk
are domain names of
Leicester Secular Society Ltd.

Ornate Lantern at Secular Hall

Page updated 21/1/18

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