From the Archives Blog

From the Archives allows us in the Humanist Library and Archives to share some of our wonderful items and our learning with you!

It also includes entries from the former A2R (Alternatives to Religion) blog, a collaborative project between Conway Hall and Bishopsgate Institute which sparked exploration of some of the ways people have tried to make sense of the world and live together ethically without the need for faith in a God or gods. The key themes linking this broad movement are Freethought, Ethics, Humanism, Rationalism and Secularism. Material for these entries came from the British Humanist Association, The National Secular Society and Conway Hall Ethical Society. Posts were written by archivists, Nicky Hilton and Carl Harrison.

NSS Outing c.1970

This orphaned photograph from a National Secular Society annual outing c.1970 shows the broad appeal of the Society, with men and women of all ages.

View NSS Outing c.1970

Fri, 13th Jun, 2014
MP Micheal Foot

As a campaigning organisation, the National Secular Society has a strong tradition of tackling difficult questions and challenging the existing state of affairs.

The National Secular Society was established by the political activist and atheist Charles Bradlaugh in 1886. The Society aimed to promote secularism and argued for a division between church and state.

The South Place Chapel - poster

The South Place Chapel and Institute Soiree Committee produced some wonderfully playful programmes for their events.

Sunday lectures

Conway Hall Ethical Society has been providing an alternative to Sunday services – the Sunday Lectures, since the congregation of South Place Chapel moved away from religion in the nineteenth century.

Late Victorian advertisements for events held by South Place Ethical Society

Late Victorian advertisements for events held by South Place Ethical Society, South Place Chapel, (1894-1903). Including rambles, bazaars and book sales.

The members of Conway Hall Ethical Society have a long history of supporting other groups who share some of the ethical or social principles of the Society

The members of Conway Hall Ethical Society have a long history of supporting other groups who share some of the ethical or social principles of the Society. This was especially so under the Chairmanship of Peter Cadogan, (1971-1980). During this time the Society created links with a range of campaign and social groups from nuclear disarmament to child poverty.

Famous Connections

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Conway Hall Ethical Society was connected to both the great and the good of the age. Many came to address the Society at their Sunday and mid week lectures including Bertrand Russell, William Morris, Sidney Webb and the suffragettes Marion Phillips and Marion Holmes.

View Famous Connections

Thu, 24th Apr, 2014
Conway Hall at 75

In 2004 Conway Hall celebrated it’s 75th anniversary. South Place Ethical Society (now Conway Hall Ethical Society) for who the Hall was purpose built in 1929, celebrated with an evening of talks, tours, music and exhibitions.

View Conway Hall at 75

Wed, 16th Apr, 2014
Late Victorian advertisement for children’s parties

Late Victorian advertisements for children’s parties organised by the Soiree Committee of South Place Ethical Society, (1896-1900). The parties involved performance, dance and games.

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