At the end of July, our CEO, Jillian Brennan, attended the European Humanist Professionals (EHP) week-long Summer School in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The focus of the Summer School was humanist chaplaincy. The event was hosted by EHP, in collaboration with the Dutch University for Humanistics (UvH) and the chaplaincy of the Dutch Humanist Union.
The event took place in Estate Beukbergen, the moral education centre of the Dutch military chaplaincy, which is set in a stunning forest location. There were attendees from 10 different countries, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.
Jillian attended lectures and participated in practical exercises on subjects that handle the daily practice of humanist chaplaincy, such as moral counselling and creating secular rituals. There were talks by professionals from several working fields and practices and there was an exchange of knowledge and experience on how humanist chaplaincy can be organised and is currently organised in different countries.
The HAI has recently carried out a review of Humanist chaplaincy, which is due to be presented to the Board shortly. Jillian’s experience from the EHP Summer School and the contacts that she made there will be very useful in planning for the future of a HAI chaplaincy service.