Humanist joins BBC committee on religious broadcasting

A new independent body set up to liaise with the BBC on its religious broadcasting is to include a humanist.

Andrew Copson, director of education and public affairs at the British Humanist Association, is the first humanist to join the Standing Conference on Religion and Belief, the successor to the Central Religious Advisory Committee (CRAC).

He will join the representatives of other religious groups in meeting BBC officials throughout the year to discuss programming on religious and ethical issues.

Humanists “have a lot to contribute in this area”, he said.

Religious groups have generally resisted the inclusion of humanists out of a concern that religious programming like Thought for the Day would be pushed to the sidelines in favour of secularist slots.

The Standing Conference on Religion and Belief will be chaired by Bishop Graham James, who also headed Crac until its dissolution in 2007.