Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists welcomes atheists, agnostics, sceptics, secularists and all who question organised religion. Join us to live without religion, using reason, evidence, science and ethical behaviour. See 'About Us' and 'About Humanism'. Receive the free monthly pdf Dorset Humanists Bulletin/Newsletter. A partner of British Humanist Association.

New Forest Nightstop

New Forest Nightstop 24 September 2014Wednesday 24th September 7.30pm
The Green House Hotel,  4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX

With New Forest Nightstop Coordinator, Jude Todd

At the age of sixteen, Jude Todd was sleeping on the streets or in derelict buildings. She suffered considerable personal abuse, was exposed to drink and drugs, and rummaged in bins or begged to get food. In this talk, she will be sharing her personal story of surviving two years of homelessness, and explain how this led her to create New Forest Nightstop which offers safe, free emergency accommodation to homeless young people. One of the most surprising aspects of this inspirational charity’s service is that volunteer families allow the homeless to stay with them in their own homes. Welcoming families, along with suitable advice and support, help ensure vulnerable young people in difficulty are able to recapture their potential and avoid falling into the downward spiral of long term homelessness. The support given by Nightstop not only raises young people's self-esteem but their chances for employment, training, health and housing are also much improved. Join us for an informative introduction to this charity’s vital work, interspersed with a selection of uplifting stories about those who’ve been helped by the charity.

“Join us to hear Jude’s personal story of life on the streets, and learn how an inspirational local charity is tackling youth homelessness”

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

[Dorset Humanists’ Winter Appeal 2013/2014 raised £1727 which was split equally between the charities Refuge and New Forest Nightstop. Refuge provides a range of support services for women and children escaping domestic violence, and New Forest Nightstop offers emergency overnight accommodation for homeless 16-24 year olds].

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed via its rear entrance in Gervis Road. The hotel has a small onsite car park, and roadside parking is also available in Gervis Road).

Please help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at) for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

August Bulletin

DWSome of you will be going to the World Humanist Congress in Oxford this coming weekend. 1,000 delegates from across the globe will be attending this exciting and prestigious event which is being hosted by the British Humanist Association. If you're not going don't forget to follow on-line and we'll bring you more news next month.

Meanwhile, we hope to see you on Thursday 14th August at our popular YouTube evening. This will also be an opportunity to meet our Indian friend Swami Manavatavadi who runs a small secular humanist school in Northern India. If you have an unwanted laptop that you would like to donate to his school please contact me by 14th August.

If you were unlucky enough to miss Peter Tatchell’s excellent recent talk for us, you can read an edited transcript of the talk in this month's Bulletin or watch the YouTube recording.

Sunday Assemblies, also known as ‘Atheist Churches’ are due to launch in Bournemouth very soon. Sunday Assembly was founded in London in January 2013 by comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans as “all the best bits of church but without the religion, and with awesome pop songs”. There are now Sunday Assemblies across the world, and Bournemouth will be one of around 100 more towns and cities officially launching their assemblies on 28th September 2014. Before the big launch, our local organisers are meeting fortnightly to build a team and gather like-minded people who want to help out, or just join the fun. The next fortnightly meeting will be at 10am on Sunday 17th August at Flirt Cafe in Bournemouth Triangle. Everyone welcome!

Finally, please support the British Humanist Association's campaign to persuade the government to allow Humanist celebrants to conduct legal Humanist marriages. It will be many years before we have another opportunity like this again, so it’s important that we work together and ensure the government receives a clear message that we want Humanist marriages legalised. Please follow this link for some easy actions you can take to help.

Many thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you again very soon.
For full details of all our events and news please see the Bulletin.

David Warden
Chair, Dorset Humanists

Freethinker’s Delights: More Hidden Treasures From YouTube

Freethinker's Delight 14 August 2014Thursday 14th August 7.30pm
The Green House Hotel,  4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX

Dean Robertson will be presenting another eclectic selection of entertaining and enlightening clips from the vast archive of atheist, rationalist, humanist and skeptical lectures and discussions which are now available on YouTube.

While YouTube is probably best known for its huge collections of music videos and amusing Candid Camera style home movie clips, there’s a wealth of more serious material available from debates and discussions, right through to entire online lecture series from top universities, and this presentation will provide another great introduction to just what it has to offer. And don’t be surprised to see some classic comedy clips, and a couple of epic fails from Creationists and/or Conspiracy theorists too!

To give you a flavour of what to expect, here's a rundown of the film clip selection from last year’s very popular, “Dawkins, Hitchens and Other Hidden Treasures of YouTube” evening :

“Join us for an enjoyable evening as we explore and discuss another big helping of the best freethought YouTube videos”

Free entry (donations appreciated). Everyone welcome!

Our Indian friend Swami Manavatavadi will also be attending this event and there will be an opportunity to meet him in the bar afterwards. Swami Manavatavadi is director of a small secular humanist school in Kurukshetra, Haryana (100km from Delhi). Dorset Humanists have had a friendship link with, and been providing some financial support to, this school since 2003.

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed via its rear entrance in Gervis Road. The hotel has a small onsite car park, and roadside parking is also available in Gervis Road).

Please help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at) for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Humanist Celebrant Leads Dorset’s First Secular Civic Service

DavidHewitt-20104-200x300We are delighted to report that local Humanist Celebrant David Hewitt (pictured) officiated at Ferndown’s first fully inclusive Civil Service on Friday July 11th 2014.

Having recognised that church-based thanksgiving services exclude a significant number of the area’s increasingly secular population, Ferndown’s town council recently took the commendable decision to break with tradition and host a non-religious outdoor service that would celebrate the town and its facilities.

In its coverage of the event, Blackmore Vale Magazine reported that Mayor of Ferndown, Councillor Mike Parkes and Town Clerk, Vanessa Ricketts were “delighted with the positive response from around 200 attendees”.

In the following article written for Dorset Humanists’ forthcoming August Bulletin, David Hewitt shares his recollections of the service, and describes the circumstances that led to this very welcome development.

A Humanist ‘Civic Ceremony’ by David Hewitt

On a quiet Friday lunchtime in May I received an intriguing email from the Town Clerk at Ferndown Town Council. She wrote: “Every year mayoral towns hold Civic Services which normally take the form of a church service of re-dedication and involve a few hymns, normally ‘I vow to thee my Country’ and ‘Jerusalem’, a sermon from the Vicar followed by tea and cake. The mayor, the youngest in the town’s history, and I want to bring this event into the 21st century!”

And so the idea was born of holding a fully inclusive Civic Service; one that would avoid alienating all those in the community who are not CofE, as so many previous services had done, by focussing more on celebration and less on thanksgiving. As I say in all my different ceremonies, if Humanism is about anything it is about leading ethical lives based on rationality and our common humanity. What better foundation then, what more apposite sentiments could there be for a ceremony to celebrate the high ethical standards and secular service that this lively and diverse community expects and enjoys?

True to the brief, we had no hymns, no prayers and definitely not a sermon. Instead the Mayor delivered a speech that talked about the past, present and future of Ferndown. We had a handful of readings, mostly delivered by youngsters from the community, and a period of reflection to appreciate what the council and community does for residents, and - paraphrasing JFK - what residents could do for the community. We even played some music: Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. It seemed the perfect song with those lyrics that talk about reaping what you will sow. The ceremony celebrated sowing the seeds of community spirit and encouraging community support, for doing so surely reaps countless rewards. Unfortunately, there was no ‘sangria in the park’, only Ringwood Best!

On-line coverage in the Blackmore Vale Magazine afterwards claimed it as a first for Dorset, but I suspect it might be the first anywhere in the country. How did it go down? The overall response was enthusiastic and positive, for at the heart of the ceremony was a ‘commendment’ that had as its theme a celebration of the wonderful ‘hard’ facilities the town enjoys, not least the spacious playing fields on which the open-air event took place, and the continuing ‘soft’ input that comes from the army of volunteers operating through - indeed bringing to life - the many organisations that serve the varied needs of this vibrant community. A truly Humanist celebration!

David Hewitt    BHA Accredited Naming, Wedding & Funeral Celebrant


For more about the services offered by Humanist Celebrants, please see our Ceremonies page and the links contained within at: