Shropshire Humanists will lay wreath at Remembrance Day ceremony in Shrewsbury

Shropshire Humanists will be laying a wreath at the Remembrance Parade in Shrewsbury on Sunday 11 November, in memory of all the non-religious members of the Armed Forces who served and gave their lives for the country. Flight Lieutenant Matthew R T Wehrle, RAF, will lay the wreath and will be accompanied by the Chair of Shropshire Humanists, Dr Simon Nightingale.

Detailed information about the ceremony can be found here.

18 October: AGM and video and discussion on Modern Slavery

Our AGM takes place at our regular Thursday evening this month. We look forward to seeing our members and potential members, please come and get involved! The formalities will be followed by a short video on Modern Slavery, and a discussion on the topic.Thursday 18 October, 7.30 pm, at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. Voluntary donations requested. You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

Videos from our meeting: Humanism in Action

At our September meeting, humanists talked about their activities.

Maxine Beech talked about her job conducting humanists weddings, funerals and baby-naming:

Sue Falder on humanist pastoral Care and chaplaincy:

Education in schools by Simon Nightingale:

The full meeting:

20 September meeting: Humanism in Action

P1030393-shrewsbury square - smThis meeting will showcase the work of humanists in three important areas:-

Maxine Beech, a Humanist Celebrant, will talk about baby namings, weddings and funerals.
Sue Falder, a Pastoral Support Volunteer, will talk about humanist “chaplaincy” work in healthcare, prisons and universities.
Simon Nightingale, a Volunteer School Speaker, will talk about going into RE classes to explain the basis of humanism.

There will be a general discussion of the importance of these activities and available training.

Thursday 20 September, 7.30 pm, at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome, but voluntary donations requested.

You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

Carol does it again: Garden celebrating humanist ceremonies wins top prizes at Shrewsbury Flower Show

Carol Seager, a member of Shropshire Humanists, has repeated her success from 2017, winning again a Large Gold Medal and the Mike Hough Memorial Trophy for best outdoor show garden. This garden is part of the show theme ‘Times Gone By’ and is entitled ‘Dawn till Dusk’. Its centrepiece is a sundial, a way of marking the passing of time, a metaphor for life’s journey marked by the ceremonies of baby namings, weddings and funerals.

The garden places humanism and humanist ceremonies and the celebrants who officiate at them in front of tens of thousands of visitors to the show.

Congratulations to Carol, Chris and Carol’s team of helpers!

More information later, and we hope to take some pictures in the sunshine on Saturday.



 

Simon Nightingale on radio Pause for Thought: The one life we have

A humanist Pause for Thought about The One Life We Have on Radio Shropshire on Sunday morning.

Listen on the time-line from 1:16:30 to 1:21:00 for one month after broadcast.

It is followed by a brief discussion on the government’s opt-out organ donation legislation.

Simon has provided the following transcript.

I recently went to the Terracotta Warriors exhibition in Liverpool and it was totally amazing. Over 200 years BC, this guy Qin Shi Huang built massive burial chambers with over 8000 life-sized porcelain soldiers not to mention loads of other stuff – just to ensure his comfort in the hereafter. Then of course, there are the pyramids and other massive tombs all over the world.

Even in the west, elaborate religious rituals have been devised to ensure safe passage to the afterlife – and to try and get preferential treatment once you’re there.

From the beginning of recorded history (and even from some prehistoric studies), mankind has always been obsessed with the after life. At present vast numbers of people around the world believe there is one – or a least they hope there is! Why?

Well, in times past, life was pretty rough and often very unfair (less so nowadays though the fact that there’s still huge and unfair inequality is shameful). So a life that’s “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (a phrase used by a great humanist philosopher of his time) – a life like that may not seem quite so bad if followed by a heavenly bliss for all eternity – and eternity’s a very long time particularly towards the end! A few decades of misery down here on earth would seem as nothing compared to eternal heavenly bliss. And if you saw someone doing wrong and benefiting at the expense of others, well that may not seem quite so horribly unfair if you believe they’ll get their “just deserts” in the hereafter.

The beliefs of humanists, who live without religion, are a bit different. We believe that what we are, as conscious individuals with our unique sense of identity, is entirely the result of the amazingly complex and truly wonderful electrochemical activity in our brain. Death occurs when that activity is irretrievably lost – and so death is the end of who are we and what we are.

Does all this really matter? Well, humanists think it does. We believe we just have the one life and that’s why it is so important to have a good life and help others to have a good life. So if other people are in a bad way – do something about it. The “one life” idea is actually sort of empowering. Life ain’t no dress rehearsal – it’s up to us to make the world a better place, now.

OK, I don’t wanna to die any time soon, ‘cos I enjoy life so much – there’s still so much to do. But when death comes, I can face it without the consolation of religion belief. I hope that like the great humanist philosopher, David Hume, I’ll die in a way consistent with how I’ve lived, with composure and joy for the one life I have enjoyed among those I love in our beautiful and fragile world.

And after I die – what then? I believe I will live on. OK, maybe not in my present form, but I’ll live on in my children and their children; and I’ll live on in the hearts and minds of all who’ve known me and in any small changes I have made to the world. Their memories of Simon Nightingale may last just their lifetimes, but if I’ve influenced even just a bit how others feel and how they view the world, that influence they’ll pass on by their interactions with others and so on. In a sense a little bit of the spirit of Simon will be gradually spreading out like ripples on a lake – over time and generations, long after I’ve gone. Now that’s true immortality; that’s a real afterlife.

Video: Teddy Prout of Humanists UK talking to Shropshire Humanists about Faith to Faithless

Teddy Prout, Director of Community Services for Humanists UK, talks to Shropshire Humanists about the Faith to Faithless initiative on Thursday 17th May 2018.

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