Public humanist funeral for Rhodri Morgan at National Assembly for Wales

31 May, 2017

Rhodri Morgan. Photo: National Assembly for Wales.

Today at 10.45, a humanist funeral for former First Minister of Wales and Humanists UK patron Rhodri Morgan will be streamed online through Senedd TV for the world to see.

The funeral will be led by Rhodri’s friend and former fellow Welsh Assembly Member Lorraine Barrett. Lorraine is also a Humanists UK patron who retired from politics to focus full-time on being a Humanists UK-accredited funeral and namings celebrant.

The funeral is the first of its kind in the UK: the first ever public funeral, akin to a state funeral, led by a humanist. Rhodri’s choice is a particularly fitting one for the Senedd’s first national funeral; YouGov polling published in December 2016 showed that 51% of Welsh people are non-religious and roughly 1 million people in Wales share Rhodri’s humanist views.

Like Rhodri, one in seven Britons say they would like a humanist funeral when they die.

Rhodri and his wife Julie Morgan, another patron of Humanists UK, recently supported the launch of Wales Humanists, a national voice for the non-religious in Wales which is part of Humanists UK. Julie spoke at the launch, which took place in the Senedd late last year.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘Like all humanist funerals, Rhodri’s will be tailored precisely to who he was, how he lived, and his loved ones’ most treasured memories of him: a true celebration of his life. The ceremony will be an opportunity for the whole world to get to know Rhodri that little bit better, share sadness, and reflect on a life well lived.’

Lorraine Barrett, taking the ceremony, commented:

‘I feel hugely privileged to lead Rhodri’ s funeral ceremony, which really will be a celebration of his life with words, poetry, and music. I’ve known Rhodri since the mid-1980s and besides sharing a love of the Labour Party, through all it’s ups and downs, we also shared a love of music. He lived his life as a humanist and said to me once, after I did the funeral of a friend of his “you can do mine when the time comes”.  Sadly, that time has come but it will be very much an uplifting ceremony to reflect how Rhodri lived his life and the huge contribution he made to Welsh public life.’


For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson on 020 3675 0959 or

What are humanist funerals?

A humanist funeral is a non-religious funeral ceremony that provides both a dignified farewell and a celebration of a life. It recognises the profound sadness of saying goodbye whilst celebrating the life and legacy of a loved one. For more information, see

See also: 14% of Britons want a humanist funeral when they die

What is Humanists UK?

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and campaigning work, we’re committed to creating a fair and equal society for all.

We operate in Wales as Wales Humanists and are a registered charity (No. 285987). Until May 2017, we were known as the British Humanist Association.