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Leicester Secular Society


MEMBERSHIP. Membership of the Society is open to anyone interested in secularism. This page gives the wording of our membership application form and the rules applying to members (i.e. the constitution of the Society).

The following is the wording of our Membership Application Form as revised at the Half AGM on 1st April 2001. This is designed to be as brief and simply expressed as possible.

Principles of Secularism

What we are FOR:

Free Speech. People should be allowed to express and publish their views, however controversial, without fear of persecution, prosecution or physical harm, so long as they allow others the same freedom.

Rational Argument. Anyone should be prepared to submit their views to vigorous argument, questioning their assumptions and testing their conclusions.

Practical Humanity. Our efforts should be devoted to elimination of human misery, injustice, poverty and ignorance in the world as it is here and now.

Working Together. Ethical values like kindness, loyalty and honesty are valuable because people live in groups.

What we are AGAINST:

Dogma. We refuse to believe or act on anything without proof just because some authority says so.

Religious Nonsense. We oppose teachings that divert people away from realities, into inactive fatalism, supernatural worship, or superstitious ritual. We advocate separation of church and state, withdrawal of special privileges of religious organisations, and secularisation of church schools.

Intolerance. We oppose bigotry and coercion based on factors such as beliefs, racial and ethnic origins, disability, sex, age, sexuality or lifestyle.

If you are sympathetic with the aims of the Society, and are 16 or over, you can apply to become a member of the Leicester Secular Society. Membership Application Forms are available from: The Membership Secretary, Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 1WB. (Or can be picked up when attending lectures or from The Frontline Bookshop).

Subscription rates (revised 2004) are: Individual membership 10.00; unwaged 2.00; low-waged 5.00; family membership 15.00. Your details will be held on computer disk unless you indicate otherwise. They will be used solely for the purposes of the Leicester Secular Society.

(Revised 1962, Amended 1979 and 2001)
Amendments made at the 2001 AGM are underlined.

1. NAME.
The name of the Society shall be "The Leicester Secular Society", hereinafter referred to as the Society.

The objects of the Society shall be the advancement of scientific and verifiable knowledge and a rational ethic against superstition, religion and a supenatural morality, by means of lectures, discussions, classes for adults, youth activities, library, publications and distribution of literature, social meetings, etc., the upholding of the principles of Freethought including the rejection of authority in all matters of opinion and the assertion of the right of assembly, speech and publication, and the raising of funds for these objects and by affiliation to or association with other societies as shall be determined from time to time by the members in general meeting.

(a) Any person aged sixteen or over may become a member through election by the Committee if proposed and seconded by members of the Society after such assent to the Societies principles as shall satify the Committee of the candidate's sincerity. The minimum subscription shall be 1 per year, husband and wife 1.50, or such sum as the Committee shall decide each year, with the approval of the members at the A.G.M.
(b) FREE. Members of long standing may be elected as free members by the members of the Society at the AGM as a mark of the Society's esteem. Free members shall enjoy full rights of membership.
(c) HONORARY. Persons who have done, or are doing, important service to the cause of Secularism, may be elected as honorary members by the members of the Committee and they shall have full use of the Society's premises but shall have no power to vote or nominate.

The management of the Society shall be in the hands of the Committee which shall consist of the following:--
(a) PRESIDENT, VICE-PRESIDENT, SECRETARY, TREASURER. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by the annual general meeting of the members. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be appointed by the Committee.
(b) MEMBERS. The Committee shall consist of four members plus the above officers. In the event of an emergency the Officers shall have the power to act and they shall report their actions to the next Committee meeting.

The annual general meeting of members shall be held in October or November and the half-yearly general meeting of members in March or April. In each case, fourteen days notice in writing shall be given to the members. Special general meetings of members of which fourteen days notice shall be given may be called by the Committee or by ten members giving the Secretary a written notice of the meeting and the purpose thereof.

Committee meetings shall be held in at least nine months in the year. Three or more members of the committee may request the Secretary in writing to summon a special meeting of the Committee for a specified object and the Secretary shall issue the necessary notices. Five members, one of whom at least shall be an officer, shall constitute a Quorum at any Committee meeting.

Nominations for election for the Committee may be made at or during the AGM. Members whose subscriptions are in arrears may not be nominated nor vote. Members of less than six months standing shall not be eligible for election to the Committee. The Committee has the power to co-opt members to the committee for specific or general purposes at any time.

The auditor or auditors shall be elected at the annual general meeting of members and shall present to the annual general meeting the accounts for the preceding year which shall have been previously printed and circulated to the members The financial year shall end on June 30th.

The President shall take the chair at all meetings and shall have a casting vote. In his absence, the Vice-President shall assume the President's duties.

Except by consent of the members present, no motion shall be made at a general meeting of members (other than a special general meeting of members) unless fourteen days' notice has been given or unless the motion is made on behalf of the Committee.

Any complaints of bad behaviour of any member shall be laid before the Committee and both the complainant and the accused shall be entitled to attend the meeting at which the matter is considered to put their case. The Committee shall have power to suspend any members involved for any time it may think or to expel them from membership. Any such suspension or expulsion shall be reported to the next general meeting of members to which the members involved shall have the right to appeal. Suspended or expelled members shall not be introduced as visitors nor require reparation.

The rules can only be altered or added to at a general meeting of members by a motion made for the purpose.

Current Officers of the Society are:
President: Mr Lyn Hurst
Vice-President and Secretary: Mr Michael Gerard
Treasurer: Mr Sid Sherriff

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