Author: Graham Connell

Darwin Day Event – 13th Feb

Join Our


“Beyond Finches: Darwin and his Successors in the Teaching of Evolution”

A talk by Julia Heathcote-Anderson

Date: Wednesday 13th February 2019

Venue: Manchester Conference Centre, 78 Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB


  • 5.30 pm, FREE admission for entrance to Stalls, Exhibitions & Local School Projects Inside
  • 7.30 pm, talk starts

Tickets: for talk only £8 each / £5 students / £5 unwaged

Available from –

This event has been organised by Greater Manchester

Thought for the Day Demo – December 18th

Come And Join Our Demonstration

After exhausting our campaign of complaints to the BBC about the fact it denies humanist speakers on its flagship Thought for the Day slot on Radio 4’s Today programme, we’ve decided to take action.

We’re meeting outside the BBC’s offices on December 18th at 11 a.m. intending to stay for a couple of hours. We will have banners, and leaflets to hand out to passersby. Plus we will be handing in a letter of complaint to the BBC. We are also planning to stir up interest with local media outlets to help publicise our campaign further. South East London Humanists who have been running monthly demos of their own outside the BBC’s offices in London will also help to publicise our demonstration.

So if you’d like to join us, and we would really appreciate that, just come along on the 18th. The exact address is:

Dock House, The Quays, Salford Quays, Salford M50 2LH
(click link below for map)

Media City is a tram stop and there is a bus that runs from Portland St. in central Manchester to Paragon House  in Salford Quays (about a 5 minute walk from Media City).

XMAS Carols for Humanists – Sunday 16th Dec


XMAS Carol Singing – For Humanists
This Sunday 16th December sees a new venture for the Choir: we will be singing non religious carols in St Anns Sq from 2.30 to 4pm. Please come and join us.
The choir could do with both support from assured singers as well as support by singalongers. Please wear something bright and Xmassy!
We also need help with taking the collection for the Ugandan Humanist Schools Trust and to provide warm drinks and support to the singers (a thirsty job!).
We will sing:
Shalom Havayreem
Joy to the World
The North Wind Doth Blow
Streets of London
I am a Small Part of the World
Come Sing a Song with Me
Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly
Blue Boat Home

Joan Bakewell to Deliver Holyoake Lecture in Manchester

Humanists UK announces the Holyoake Lecture 2018, and journalist, TV presenter, and co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) Baroness Joan Bakewell will be the speaker.

WHAT: Towards a humanist politics | The Holyoake Lecture 2018
with Joan Bakewell
WHERE: Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, Manchester, M2 5NS
WHEN: Tuesday 13 November, 18:30 – 20:00
Please note the earlier time.

Since entering Parliament in 2011, Joan has promoted humanist and liberal ideas, the arts; and has consistently defended the poor and vulnerable. She’s given more than 140 speeches in the House of Lords, and in 2017 was named Humanist of the Year by Humanists UK in recognition of her lifelong dedication to putting humanist values into practice. As with all Humanists UK lectures, there will be an opportunity for the audience to put their questions to Joan following the talk itself.

Tickets cost £12.50, or just £5 for students. Book your ticket to this exciting event now.

I hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Andrew Copson
Chief Executive

Join GMH’s Thought for the Day Campaign

Why The GMH Campaign?
The BBC continues to disallow humanist and secular speakers on its Thought for the Day slot in Radio 4’s Today Programme. We believe the BBC is in breach of its own charter in not allowing humanist or non-religious speakers to speak in this slot which goes out at 07:50 each weekday morning. Reasons for this are given in the latter part of this email.

What We Want You To Do
We’re asking our supporters to join us in complaining to the BBC about this, and we have supplied below our suggested response to the BBC’s complaints form which we would urge you to submit. We’re hoping that if enough people respond over the next few weeks, the BBC will take the complaint seriously – when it comes to complaints, numbers count. As well as this post on our website, we will be using our social media channels and links with other humanist groups to support us in this campaign. So please help swell the numbers by submitting your complaint.

When To Complain
It’s up to you, but soon after reading this email would be good. We’re going to keep pushing people to support the campaign over the next few weeks.
How To Complain
The BBC requires you to fill in a form on their website. Below we have supplied the proposed responses to that form. We suggest you open a new browser window for the complaints form so that you can copy the text from this email into it. The form is on the BBC’s website here – – click on Make a complaint and it should only take a few minutes to complete.

Suggested Response To The Complaints Form

Have you read our page What happens to your complaint?‘ Yes
Where do you live? Respond as appropriate
Please provide the first half of your postcode Respond as appropriate
What is your complaint about? Radio
Which radio station is your complaint about? Radio 4
What is the programme title? Today
When was it broadcast?  Leave blank
How did you watch or listen to the programme? When it was actually broadcast
What time of day did the issue happen? 07 50
What is the best category to describe your complaint?  Other
Are you following up a complaint you’ve made within the last month? No
What is the subject of your complaint? Breach of Charter
Enter your complaint in full. Copy all of the following text up to the horizontal line into the box or use your own wording:

This complaint applies to the Thought for the Day slot in the programme (hereafter referred to as TFTD) with reference to the following clauses in the BBC’s Charter:

5  The Mission of the BBC is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.
6.1  To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them
6.4  To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions and, in doing so, support the creative economy across the United Kingdom
6.5  To reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world: the BBC should provide high-quality news coverage to international audiences, firmly based on British values of accuracy, impartiality, and fairness.

The BBC is therefore in breach of its charter for the following reasons:

TFTD is not impartial, because it excludes non-religious speakers. This also is unfair, thus not reflecting British values. Ref: clauses 5 and 6.5 above.
TFTD fails to inform and educate its audience about the non-religious worldview, thus enable them to understand it. Ref: clause 5 and 6.1 above.
TFTD does not represent all audiences, and therefore serve the diverse communities of the UK because the majority of UK society, according to the latest social attitudes survey, and other sources, identify as non-religious. Ref: clauses 5 and 6.4 above.
TFTD does not reflect the values of the United Kingdom to the world, in that any visitor to the UK listening to the programme would not be able to hear the values of a non-religious speaker. Ref: clauses 5 and 6.5 above.

After that say whether you want a reply and supply details as required if so.

Then submit your response.

11th October: Aron Ra talk on phylogeny, secularism and humanism

Aron Ra is to appear at Manchester University on the evening of Thursday 11th October. Checkout his series of talks on YouTube and on his Patheos blog.

In case you’re wondering, Phylogeny is very simply – the study of the tree of life.

Aron Ra will speak on Phylogeny, and comment on the importance of Science and Secularism in today’s world.

Aron is from Texas, and is well known for his forthright views on creationism and faiths…..

Time: 19:00 – 21:00   Place: University of Manchester, University Place, Lecture Theatre ‘B’ 176, Oxford Road, M13

ADMISSION: FREE (there will be donation buckets!)

This event is in association with QED (Manchester)

Dr Kevin Malone, Reader in School of Arts, Languages and Culture, together with Greater Manchester Humanists, invite world-renowned speaker on Phylogeny to speak on the latest research in biological classification of living things, and it’s relationship to evolution and secular thinking.

Q & A session will follow Aron’s presentation.

This event will be especially interesting to people of any or no faiths, of science and non-science backgrounds, but with a fundamental interest in critical thinking………

Entrance is free but you need to book a place via Eventbrite using the link here.

Exploring Humanism – An Introductory Course

Greater Manchester Humanists

Exploring Humanism: An Introductory Course

The Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS

Seven Monday evenings:  17th September to 29th October 2018, 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Cost: £20 (reduced to £17 for bookings received by Monday 3rd September 2018)

This course has been developed for Greater Manchester Humanists, and is for anyone who is interested in finding out what Humanism has to offer as a non-religious way of answering the ‘big questions’ of life, and developing values that help us live enjoyable and worthwhile lives. Humanism provides the ideal value system for a secular society.

The course is interactive throughout, with plenty of printed material provided for permanent reference. It consists of seven sessions addressing these issues:

  • What makes a Humanist?
  • Humanism in practice: promoting happiness and well-being
  • The historical roots of Humanism: some key thinkers
  • Humanist morality: key principles
  • Humanist perspectives on key moral issues
  • The meaning and purpose of life for Humanists
  • Humanist principles revisited – and review of the course

We aim for up to fifteen participants, ready to share ideas, take part in discussion groups and brainstorming sessions, and enjoy addressing interesting and challenging issues with like-minded people.

The course leaders are Rob Grinter ( and Anna Whitehead. Please contact Rob with any queries, by email or on 01625 260573. And If you would like to enroll please click on this link here.

Darwin Day Celebration – 12th Feb

Darwin Finch

Our Darwin Day Celebration is being held at

Sackville Street
M1 3BB Manchester
United Kingdom
View Map


Stall, exhibitions + local school projects on Darwin and Evolution – Doors Open 5.30pm – Admission FREE


Starts 7.30PM.

Prof John Gowlett & Prof Keith Dobney – University of Liverpool – will present a talk on:

HUMAN EVOLUTION: from Australopithecus to Archaeological Science

Tickets £8 (students and unwaged £5)


The  lecture is ticketed. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite: