19 April meeting: talk on Buddhism

The Rev Saido Kennaway of  Telford Buddhist Priory (Order of Buddhist Contemplatives) will give a talk on Buddhism.

Thursday 19 April at 7.30 pm, 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.


15 March meeting: Karen Williams on Poverty

Karen Williams Karen Williams will talk about poverty in our community. She will discuss the reality of struggling to survive and the problems faced by the lower-paid, both in day-to-day living and in dealing with government and other officials.

Karen Williams is Project Leader of Shrewsbury foodbank PLUS, a holistic range of projects that serve our community often when people are at their most vulnerable. Working with the people of Shropshire they offer hope by recognising the value of each individual, enabling them to make positive choices for their future to play a full role in society and see personal transformation in their lives. Foodbank PLUS is part of Barnabas Community Projects of which Karen is a Director.

Karen will be happy to receive donations of food at the meeting.

Thursday 15 March at 7.30 pm, 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.

Social event, Saturday 31 March: Dawn Chorus walk

Credit: By Shantanu Kuveskar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54585136

A short Dawn Chorus walk in the Reabrook nature reserve in Shrewsbury. This walk will begin before dawn, and will be led by Matt Wilcoxon, the Countryside and Greenspace Team Leader at Shrewsbury Town Council.

Breakfast will be available from 8 am at a local house: donations requested to the charity Omushana: Sunshine for Children.

Meet outside the Saddlers pub, Whitecroft Road, Shrewsbury SY3 7TJ at 6.20 am for a 6.30 am start. Sunrise is at 6.47 am. Bring warm and (if necessary) waterproof clothing and good footwear. The going could be muddy in places.

We are extending a warm welcome to all, including local residents. You don’t have to be a humanist!


Outside the Box – A Live Show About Death on 10 February

We have been informed about the following local event that may be of interest. Please note that it is not organised by SHG, so we are not responsible for the content of the show or for this information.

Outside the Box – A Live Show About Death

WARNING: This show might change your life – or your death. Liz Rothschild is a performer, celebrant and award winning burial ground owner. Her unique insights and experiences have created a highly original and beautifully cathartic show, combining mercurial tales and miraculous truths, collected over the years from life’s ‘finishing line.’ Funny, wise and taboo busting; Outside The Box confronts the ‘elephant in the room’ with grace and humour, asking its audience to embrace mortality and look on the bright side of life.

Date and time: Saturday 10 February, 7.30 pm
Location: Chapel Lawn Village Hall, Chapel Lawn, Shropshire SY7 0BW
Age range: 13+
Tickets: Adult: £10.00  Child: £5.00
More information and trailer: http://www.artsalive.co.uk/show.aspx?id=10858
Enquiries: 01547 530871 / 07721 739973


Around Shropshire: Ludlow and Marches Humanists and Engaging Issues

In South Shropshire, North Herefordshire and the Welsh border areas there is another humanist group, our neighbours the Ludlow and Marches Humanists. A copy of their latest newsletter can be downloaded here and their website is here.

They always have an interesting programme, and the following meetings are planned:

20 February 2018 – “Telling people about Humanism” by Dr Simon Nightingale. Simon is a semi-retired neurologist and chair of  Shropshire Humanist Group. He has given many talks on Humanism and is occasionally heard on Shropshire Radio. He participates in inter-faith discussions and will be considering techniques, tactics and pitfalls when communicating Humanist  messages to people of different outlooks.
Thursday 8 March 2018, special meeting – on Brexit legislative programme by Lord Jeff Rooker: Please note that this meeting only will be in the Zion room at the Methodist Church Hall, Broad Street, Ludlow. Jeff Rooker will be concentrating on the progress of the legislative programme through the House of Lords, full title yet to be revealed.
20 March 2018 – The Reverend Kelvin Price, Rector of Ludlow. Talk title to be agreed. We have not had a formal talk from the Church of England for many years now, and it will be interesting to see his approach to falling numbers and alternative uses of church buildings, as well as the continuing relevance of the C of E as a state religion.
17 April 2018 – Christine Hyde on Greece ”Changed or Unchanged” – Chris and Hugh spent several years in Greece and grew to appreciate the culture, albeit different in many ways from our own. Chris will be concentrating on
the village (Elaia) and area they know best, quote: “I will talk about customs still practiced from Dorian times, the Orthodox Church, and the Evil Eye, ending with a few photos of the wild life. Hence the suggested title”.
15 May 2018 – AGM. As usual, we will try to make this an interesting evening, with cake and refreshments and either a video or a special discussion to follow the AGM.

Engaging Issues is a church-based group in Church Stretton, but its talks are often of interest to humanists and others.

Tuesday 6 February – “Can Christians talk with one voice about God?”. Dr Benjamin Wood is a Quaker ethicist and theologian, interested in the relationship between faith & society, secular politics and the Church.
Tuesday 27th February – “Britain’s Housing Affordability Crisis”. Chrissie Pepler
7:30pm in the United Reformed Church, High Street, Church Stretton. A £3 donation is requested to defray expenses.


To be a Humanist: questions from a Christian

The following contribution by Peter Bellingham, a committed Christian, was made at our Hot Potatoes open mike night on 18 January. Several listeners asked for it to be made available, and Peter said he was happy for it to be posted here. He poses some fundamental and difficult questions about the nature of man, consciousness, causation, determinism, free will and the meaning of life. Humanists may attempt to answer these questions differently from a Christian, such as Peter, but they are questions we all find a challenge.


Do I have to be human to be a humanist?


What is a human?

Is a human a certain arrangement of atoms?

Is your chair a certain arrangement of atoms?

Is a leaf a certain arrangement of atoms?

Is your dog a certain arrangement of atoms?


Are you more valuable than your dog?

Are you more valuable than a leaf?

Are you more valuable than your chair?



Is your conscious experience just the product of atoms?

Are your thoughts and choices just the product of atoms?

What turns a human into a humanist?

Is it a choice, or can cosmic radiation cause the change?

How do we know which atoms are in control?

How do you know which atoms are right?


Are you disappointed by anything in life?

Are you upset by any injustice in life?

Why be disappointed?  Why be upset?

Some end up happy, some sad; why expect anything different?


Isn’t everything just the purposeless product of atoms in motion?


Is a human more than atoms in motion?

Is a humanist more than atoms in motion?


Is that why you’re here tonight, thinking?


If you’re not too busy, you can hear Simon Nightingale talking about being too busy

Simon Nightingale gave the “Pause for Thought” on BBC Radio Shropshire on Sunday morning, 28 January, talking about “White Rabbit syndrome”.

You can hear it at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05v0927#play  Listen from 1:20:00 to 1:25:00 on the time line. It is available for 4 weeks only.

%d bloggers like this: