Letter: Secular babies

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Sir: There is nothing new or strange about non-religious naming ceremonies for children (Comment, 26 May; letter, 1 June). The Baby Naming Society, formed in 1994, is following work done for some time by the British Humanist Association; the BHA published Jane Wynne Willson's booklet, New Arrivals, in 1991, and the nationwide Humanist Ceremonies Network provides naming ceremonies as well as non-religious weddings and funerals.

Moreover, the BHA has been following work done for a long time by the freethought movement; the Ethical Church produced a ceremony for the "Recognition and Dedication of Children" in 1913, and the National Secular Society produced a ceremony for the "Naming of Infants" as long ago as 1868. Anyway, millions of ordinary people have been conducting their own private ceremonies for centuries.

NICOLAS WALTER

Rationalist Press Association

London N1

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