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Being Human Festival presents:

Secular Celebration: Then and Now

19th November 2022 · 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Doors open: 11:45am


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 Secular Celebration: Then and Now

Since the nineteenth century, groups associated with Conway Hall have held secular ceremonies to mark births, deaths, and marriages. Join researcher Dr Clare Stainthorp and the Library and Archives team at Conway Hall to discover how people have celebrated life events outside of religious traditions, in Victorian times and today.

Drawing upon nineteenth-century anthologies of secular songs and poems, we’ll read some of the poems used to bring secular communities together and talk about their role within the Victorian radical freethought movement. We invite you to bring along any texts that you have included in a ceremony or celebration – or would like to! Together we’ll think about the themes and ideas the texts share and the emotions they evoke.

This is an opportunity to visit the beautiful Conway Hall Library, where there will be a pop-up display featuring rarely-seen volumes from the archives that explore secular celebration and its intertwined history with Conway Hall Ethical Society.

Dr Clare Stainthorp is researcher at Queen Mary University of London who is interested in nineteenth-century secular communities and the things that they wrote. Her book, Constance Naden: Scientist, Philosopher, Poet can be purchased here.

A number of time-slots are available: 12:00-13:00; 13:30-14:30; 15:00-16:00; 16:30-17:30.

This event is brought to you as part of Being Human Festival.

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