Information from Prof. Ralph Early’s talk on Feeding Britain

Professor Early’s talk (20 April) was full of thought-provoking ideas about the problems of food supply in the the UK and the consequences for the nutrition of our population. Many in the audience wanted to follow up some of the topics, so Professor Early has kindly supplied his slides in PDF format, with references, and you can download them from the links below (three separate files).

SHG_Food Talk_01_220417

SHG_Food Talk_02_220417

SHG_Food Talk_03_220417

 

BHA and Young Humanists move to protect non-religious parents with guide on religion in schools

From the British Humanist Association, 20 April 2017:

The British Humanist Association (BHA) and Young Humanists have published today a comprehensive guide for non-religious parents and young people, offering support and advice on how to navigate an education system increasingly subject to undue religious influence. The guide comes in the week that parents all over England discovered at which primary school their children have been offered a place for the next school year.

Religion in schools: a guide for non-religious parents and young people in England and Wales is free to download from the BHA’s website and aims to ensure that non-religious people are fully aware of their rights and the law as it relates to ‘faith’ schools and religion in schools more generally. The advice covers a range of areas, including Religious Education, Collective Worship, school admissions, and the teaching of Science, all of which can pose particular problems for non-religious families.

Currently, a third of state schools in England and Wales are ‘faith’ schools, meaning non-religious parents in England and Wales have access to around 7,000 fewer appropriate schools, or nearly two million fewer places, than their religious counterparts. Depending on their type, these schools can religiously discriminate in their admission arrangements, employment policies, and delivery of the curriculum, all of which has a deleterious effect on the rights of non-religious parents. What is more, the law still requires schools without a religious character to hold daily acts of Christian worship, meaning that even parents who have specifically chosen to avoid ‘faith’ schools cannot completely escape religious proselytising.

Commenting on the publication of the new guide, BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘Despite the fact that as a society we are now much more diverse, and much more non-religious, the school system has only become more and more permissive to religious influence in recent years. This guide builds on the decades of support that the BHA has provided to parents and young people caught in the crossfire of this long-standing tension between religion and education, and will hopefully equip them to challenge unlawful and discriminatory practice wherever they find it.’

Lauren Nicholas, coordinator of the BHA’s 18-35s section Young Humanists, added, ‘Well over two-thirds of young people in Britain state that they do not belong to any religion, and nearly half of the population as a whole now say they are non-religious. And yet, whether it’s being denied access to your local school, being forced to pray to a god you don’t believe in, or being taught a narrow and doctrinaire religious education curriculum, non-religious people have never encountered a more hostile education system than the one they face now. We are a maligned majority. Ultimately we must repeal the legal freedoms allowing religion to run amok in our schools, but until then this guide will do a great deal to protect the rights of parents.’

Notes

For further comment or information please contact BHA Education Campaigns Manager Jay Harman on jay@humanism.org.uk or 0207 324 3078.

Read the ‘Guide for non-religious parents and young people’: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017-04-19-BHA-guide-for-non-religious-parents.pdf

Read more about the BHA’s work on:

Young Humanists is the 18-35s section of the BHA. Two thirds of Britons between the ages of 18 and 35 are non-religious, according to surveys, and most will share humanist values even if that’s not a term they’ve come across. Young Humanists exists to offer a space for non-religious people aged 18-35 to meet, socialise, debate and support each other.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

Humanist garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show: request for assistance and contributions

We are aiming to have a garden celebrating Humanism at the Shrewsbury Flower Show this year, 11 and 12 August. It will be designed by Carol Seager.

This is an opportunity to put Humanism before possibly as many as 100,000 visitors.

Help with money, fundraising and practical help in the week before and during the show are all welcome.

As visitors come to the Show from all over the north of England and further away, other Humanist Groups may wish to use this opportunity to advertise.

Please contact through the Contacts page us if you are interested in helping!

Introduction to Humanism: course in Telford this autumn

Following the success of the course we held in 2016, we are repeating it in Telford this year. The course consists of 6 sessions, each lasting 2 hours (7 – 9 pm) on a Wednesday at weekly intervals from the end of September to the beginning of November 2017. The venue will be The Meeting Point House at Telford Shopping Centre, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS.

This course is intended for anybody who is interested in humanism and wishes to find out more about its principles and the activities of humanists. No previous knowledge of humanism or philosophy is required. There will be a fee of £20 for the course to cover expenses.

The course will be limited to 20 participants. You do not need to be a member of the British Humanist Association, but we would prefer (but don’t insist) that you are a member of the Shropshire Humanist Group.

A course folder, which is distributed at the beginning of the course, includes all the material needed for the discussions on which the course is based. Participants are encouraged to read the material in advance, so that they can bring contributions and questions to each session.

Sept 27th, What do humanists believe?
Oct 4th, What are the historical roots of humanism?
Oct 11th, Where do humanists get their moral values?
Oct 18th, How do humanist handle moral dilemmas?
Oct 25th, What is the meaning and purpose of life for humanists?
Nov 1st, What do humanists do? Review of the course.
Date to be arranged: Meal for all participants

If you would like to come to the course and/or join the SHG, please contact us through the contact page.

Simon Nightingale gives an introduction to Humanism at Shrewsbury U3A

Shrewsbury U3A member and chair of Shropshire Humanist Group, Dr. Simon Nightingale outlines the principles of humanism. This talk is a well-structured introduction for anyone interested in humanism, for example, those who believe that it is possible to lead a good life and be a good person without religion will find areas of common interest. Those with religious faith who are interested in learning more of a rapidly growing, influential non-religious world view are especially encouraged to watch the presentation which includes questions from the U3A audience towards the end.

18 May: Alison Patrick of the Unitarian Church in Shrewsbury: Unitarian? What’s that?

On Thursday 18 May, Alison Patrick will tell us about Unitarianism.

Unitarianism is a faith with no creed or doctrine. It has its roots in the Judaeo Christian tradition and has evolved to encompass a range which spans liberal Christianity to religious humanism and earth centred spirituality. The first identified Unitarian churches and meeting houses, including Shrewsbury, emerging in the 18th century but the origins of the faith go back further. We’ll look at the history of the Unitarian movement which includes historic figures Iike Joseph Priestley, Josiah Wedgwood and Elizabeth Gaskell, at the interesting stories of Shrewsbury Unitarian Church, and at some of the beliefs and activities of Unitarians today. I look forward to discussing and comparing with Humanist approaches.

University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ at 7.30 pm

Ludlow and Marches Humanists, 18 April: The crisis in Shropshire’s NHS

Gill George, Chair of the campaign to defend our local NHS, will talk about the issues and what can be done to combat the threat to our much valued and needed health services.

Tuesday 18 April 2017, 7.30pm, at The Friends Meeting House, St Mary’s Lane, Ludlow SY8 1DZ. All welcome. For more information call 01568 770282 or email: rocheforts@tiscali.co.uk.

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