On Red Lion Square, in the beating heart of London, you can find Conway Hall, home of the Conway Hall Ethical Society. Deriving its name from Moncure Daniel Conway (1832 – 1907), an anti-slavery advocate and out-spoken supporter of free thought, the Society hails free speech and independent thought. At Conway Hall, the Society hosts a programme of free lectures, classes, performances and events that show a deep engagement with the ethical humanities.
Born as a dissident congregation in 1797, the Conway Society originally started out in Bishopsgate. It opened Conway Hall in 1929, where it currently remains. Today, the Society is an educational charity aimed at developing and supporting research and education in humanist ethical principles. Its library is the only one of its kind, dedicated solely to the UK’s humanist agenda and holding over 10.000 materials relating to subjects of humanist, rationalist, philosophical and ethical interest. The library consciously collects on issues of free speech, education, environmental issues, animal rights, business ethics, civil rights, family issues, health issues, lifestyle choices, business ethics and medical ethics.
The Hall was the largest project of architect Frederick Mansford and built in Art Deco style. Its design is very suited for acoustic purposes and as such the Hall holds a lot of musical performances and is known for its Sunday concerts, which the Society believes should be affordable and available to all. It also owns a large collection of classical sheet music, bequeathed to the Society by Frank A. Hawkins.
The Hall also offers art residency programs and shows regularly rotating exhibitions.