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A non-religious network which supports my world views

Category: testimonial, Inclusivity, Staff Networks, Staff Testimonial, ministry of defence, Active Inclusion, MOD, staff network group, atheists, atheism, The Army Civil Service, Army Civil Service, Army’s Civilian Workforce, Humanist, Non-religious


Remembrance 2021 » Humanists UK

Hi I’m Maggie and I joined the Civil Service back in 2004, working in a couple of organisations before joining MOD in 2016. In 2017 I secured a place on an MOD talent development scheme. As part of our induction to the scheme the then Director of International Security came and gave us an inspirational talk on leadership. I was interested to learn more about the Director’s career and did a little research and discovered that they were the Senior Champion for the Defence Humanists Network (now HAND). This led me to learn more about, and join, the network.

As a non-religious person, I was pleased to find a network which supported my world views and those of other non-religious and humanist Defence Civil Servants and Service personnel. MOD is a historically Christian organisation and many of the ceremonies and events we take part in can have a heavily religious bias which I personally find uncomfortable. HAND seeks to ensure inclusivity for all civilian personnel and their military colleagues at ceremonies and events that have a traditionally religious theme, particularly during acts of Remembrance. For me the opportunity to join in remembering those who gave their lives in military service in a moving, non-religious, ceremony is one of the most important aspects of the HAND network’s work. I am now a member of the HAND committee acting as the Civil Service representative and have twice given readings at the act of Remembrance.

I feel a real sense of belonging in HAND and have embraced the opportunity to help bring change in MOD as HAND works with the other MOD faith and belief networks to ensure inclusivity for all personnel, both civilian and military. 

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