Secular Hall is in serious need of repair and modernisation. By the end of July 2013 we need to raise £40,000 to improve facilities in the Hall.
A unique building
The Secular Hall was built for Leicester Secular Society and opened in 1881. Apart from Conway Hall in London it is the only dedicated secularist building in the country. It has a proud history of hosting radical speakers from the atheist, humanist and radical tradition. It is Grade II listed, one of few surviving Victorian buildings in Leicester. It is in serious need of repair and modernisation so that it can remain our home and continue to serve the community into the future.
We have devised an achievable ‘mini-modernisation scheme’ that addresses urgent needs on the ground-floor - where we and other organisations hold our public events.
Our scheme consists of:
Although much of the Hall remains unchanged from the 1880s, the present downstairs layout is not original. The hardboard partitions and office were a later alteration. When carrying out the work, it is our intention to respect the original character of the building, trying to restore features that have been lost over the years. Creating a new meeting room/office in the rear of the garage will require a doorway to be made. This will mean the loss of one of the mirrors which we hope can be repositioned elsewhere. There will be no loss of car parking spaces.
Extracts from the ground floor plan showing the position of the new accessible toilet and offices. The scheme will also revamp the kitchen. We are certain that these improvements will result in more lettings to community groups
At present there is no secondary fire exit but the owner of the neighbouring building, Humberstone House, has kindly agreed we can have a fire exit door opening onto his car park. This will be a great boost to fire safety.
Please give what you can
Ways to donate
The total inclusive projected cost is £65,000. The Society is able to contribute £25,000, so another £40,000 needs to be raised from external sources. If successful we will undertake the works in September of this year. As you would expect for such an unglamorous scheme, and for an organisation of our type, we are going to struggle to get support from statutory or grant-giving charities. So we will be largely reliant on donations from individual supporters like you. That is why we are asking for your help.Donated funds will be held in trust until spent on the planned project (or other modernisation, repair, improvement and equipment). If you wish to discuss this request please don’t hesitate to call our President, Harry Perry, on 01455 823570.
Only a first step
This scheme is only the first phase in modernising the Hall. In addition to day-to-day repairs, other work is needed. This includes:
Leicester Secular Society Ltd is a company limited by guarantee Reg. No 06292639
with its registered office at 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 1WB
lsec.org.uk, LeicesterSecularSociety.org.uk and SecularHall.org.uk are domain names of Leicester Secular Society Ltd
Page updated 26 March 2013 FF.