Meetings and Events

Our speaker meetings and discussions (unless otherwise stated) are held at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. This is a central location, near the Theatre Severn. It has wheelchair access and a hearing loop. Frankwell car park is just outside, and the venue is about 5-10 minutes walk from the station.

Meetings normally start at 7.30 pm. You are very welcome to come for tea and coffee from 7 pm to meet and chat with other members and guests. A voluntary donation is requested towards room hire and refreshments.

Shrewsbury has events marking Charles Darwin’s birthday in February. We do not have a speaker meeting that month.

July (a weekend walk and lunch) and December (a meal) are the main social events. We are now arranging other social activities throughout the year: not all are listed here as they are for members, their families and registered contacts, so please contact us to join our email list. Activities include special interest groups, Sunday breakfast, themed walks, a ‘virtual library’ and occasional public presentations around Shropshire.

Suggestions for topics or speakers are always welcome: please email us.


Programme updated 23 January 2019

Sunday 10 February 2019: We make a block booking for the annual Darwin memorial lecture at Theatre Severn. This year, the topic is Robert Fitzroy, the captain of The Beagle. There is also a block booking for lunch beforehand at the theatre. Please contact social@shropshire.humanist.org.uk for information or booking; the theatre requires confirmation before the end of December.

Thursday 21 March:  University Centre 7.30 pm: Talk Yourself Better, by Ariane Sherine

Screenshot - 02_01_2019 , 08_52_51

Comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine created and organised the Atheist Bus Campaign, persuading Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association to support her – and buses with variations on the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” ran in 13 countries across the globe.

As a result, Ariane received an Inbox full of hate mail from Christians, which eventually led to a major nervous breakdown and suicidal ideation. She ended her journalistic career, and didn’t write again for over three years. In this talk, she will tell the full story of how therapy and medication saved her life, prompting her to write her new book, Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person’s Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help. Ariane will be signing copies of Talk Yourself Better after the talk.

Ariane also wrote the bestselling celebrity book The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. She has written for BBC1’s My Family, Channel 4’s Countdown and BBC2’s Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, as well as for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, New Statesman, New Humanist and The Spectator. She lives in London with her seven-year-old daughter, Lily.

Thursday 18 April: University Centre 7.30 pm: Childhood Emotional Neglect: The Intergenerational Conundrum by Dr Angela Blanchard (School of Psychology, Keele University)

Angela will give a presentation on her recently completed PhD research into emotional neglect of children and how it affects them as adults. Angela is a person-centred counsellor.

Childhood emotional neglect is increasingly recognised as a distinct form of child abuse which may occur alongside other forms of child abuse or as a stand-alone issue. Yet it remains nebulous, poorly understood and under-researched, compared to other forms of child maltreatment. In this presentation, Angela will outline her research into childhood emotional neglect, focusing in particular on the intergenerational aspect. Is childhood emotional neglect inevitably passed on from one generation to another? Can the same individuals be both harsh parents, and loving grandparents? If there is a cycle of childhood emotional neglect, can we ever break out of it? Angela promises to raise more questions than she answers, as she continues to search for understanding and healing both for herself and her counselling clients. You can see her PhD video here:

Pete Hulme Thursday 16 May: University Centre 7.30 pm: Pete Hulme will give an introduction to the Bahá’í faith.

Pete Hulme will give an introduction to the faith, but intends the main focus to be on a key aspect of consciousness that plays to his strengths as a psychologist and a Bahá’í. It was one he struggled with when he became a Bahá’í, post qualification as a sceptical agnostic clinical psychologist. The issue concerns whether or not the mind is reducible to the brain, that is, is the mind independent of the brain or simply a by-product or emergent property?

He thinks this is a crucial issue, amongst others, in terms of whether we can truly reconcile mainstream materialistic science and most transcendent spiritual traditions. It can be dealt with without too much psychobabble, and in his view can also be debated by all sides of the argument in a spirit of genuine exploration, but is also a major point of sometimes unproductive contention.

Thursday 20 June: University Centre 7.30 pm TBA to mark International Humanist Day on 21 June

Friday evening to Sunday morning 21-23 June, Humanists UK Annual Convention will be held in Leicester. Shropshire Humanists members are planning to attend – please contact us if you’d  like to join us.

Sunday 21 July: Summer Social.  Walk and BBQ Details will be emailed.

Thursday 19 September: University Centre 7.30 pm TBA

Thursday 17 October: AGM followed by a talk at University Centre 7.30 pmTBA

Thursday 22 November: University Centre 7.30 pm TBA


Membership is £12 for the year. If you join part way through the year there is a discount. You may attend 3 meetings free but after that we request that you join.

Click here to download membership form as Word document or click here to download form as PDF file.

For more information please contact our Secretary at info@shropshire.humanist.org.uk.


Past meetings this year
Tuesday 15 January: Public Discussion on Where do we get our Morals? Simon Nightingale and Peter Bellingham at University Centre 7.30 pm

Thursday 17 January 2019: Hot potato (open mike) session. Anyone can speak for 5 minutes (absolute maximum 10 minutes) on a topic of their own choice that is in some way related to humanism.

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