Meetings and Events

Our meetings (unless otherwise stated) are held at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. This is a central location, next to the Theatre Severn, with free parking in the evenings right outside in Frankwell car park. It is also about 10 minutes walk from the station.

Shropshire has the Darwin Festival in February. We do not have a meeting that month, and members of Shropshire Humanist Group attend events during that time (see the News pages for updates).

July (a weekend walk and lunch) and December (a meal) are socials.

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

Programme updated 20 July 2017

Thursday 16 March at 7.30pm in University Centre Shrewsbury: Shelley – a Humanist out of Time, by John Webster

An audio-visual presentation introduced by John Webster

John’s multi-faceted presentation gives an unrivalled insight into Shelley, and reveals the extent to which humanist ideals animated his
work. With Shelley verses presented in a cycle of songs (‘an interesting and enjoyable way to encounter the lyrics’), a narration voiced by Benjamin Zephaniah, and images from Shelley locations in Italy, this is an special opportunity to discover the scope and ambition of the poet who looked forward to a democratic, pluralist and secular future. There is a review of John’s talk here. Information about John’s DVD is here.






Thursday 20 April at 7.30pm in University Centre Shrewsbury: Feeding Britain: issues, challenges and ethical dimensions

Professor Ralph Early, Professor of Food Industry and Head of Department of Food Science and Agri-Food Supply Chain Management at Harper Adams University, and a member of Shropshire Humanist Group.

Britain is not food secure and since WWII successive governments have done little to deal with the problem. While the country’s self-sufficiency has fallen from over 80% some 60 years ago to approaching 50% today the nation’s waistline has increased and so has the burden of food related poor health on our medical system. This is bad news for the country, but good news for the corporations that profit from selling unhealthy food and treating symptoms of diet related disease. So what can be done to solve the problems? Ideas will be floated and the audience will be invited to suggest solutions.




Thursday 18 May in University Centre Shrewsbury : Unitarianism? What’s that?

Alison Patrick of the Unitarian Church in Shrewsbury.

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. Alison looks forward to discussing and comparing with Humanist approaches.






Thursday 15 June:  Blasphemy and freedom of expression – a matter of life and death

sturges-portrait-2Professor Paul Sturges OBE, Emeritus Professor of Library Studies at Loughborough University

Professor Sturges’ talk will range over the history of the offence of blasphemy in relation to freedom of expression, with examples from some different parts of the world. The examples of blasphemy will include some that would seriously offend religious believers. There will also be accounts of hangings, lashings and horrible murders by people enraged by blasphemy. He will contrast blasphemy laws and their consequences, with laws and international statements on freedom of expression.  In the process he will attempt to draw useful distinctions between critical comment, satire, offensive speech and publication, and incitement to hatred, whilst stressing the value of good manners and consideration for others.






Sunday 16 July: Garden party at Simon Nightingale’s house by the river.  12.30 pm, parking nearby in Frankwell. We shall organise a short walk timed to end at the house around midday. There will be a small charge.


Friday 21 July: An introduction to Humanism, talk in Telford

Shropshire Humanist Group is sponsoring a talk about Humanism on Friday 21st July at 7.30 pm at Meeting Point House at Telford Shopping Centre, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS. It will be presented by Dr Simon Nightingale, Chair of Shropshire Humanist Group.

The talk is an introduction for anyone interested in humanism, whether or not they call themselves a humanist. Humanists are those who believe that it is possible to lead a good life and be a good person without religion, and anyone favouring that view 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 most welcome. Teachers of Religious Education may find the talk helpful and informative. Tea/coffee/biscuits available afterwards.

This talk will be followed by a course on humanism, consisting of six weekly 2-hour sessions beginning on Wednesday 27 September for 6 weeks, also at Meeting Point House. Members of the public are welcome to enrol for the course. There is a limit on numbers and there will be a small charge. Full details are here.

Meeting Point House is near Telford Shopping Centre, and 10-15 minutes walk from Train and Bus Stations. Brown Elm car park is nearby. There is wheelchair access.


Friday and Saturday, 11 and 12 August: Shrewsbury Flower Show

We are aiming to have a garden celebrating Humanism at the Shrewsbury Flower Show this year. 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. Those who assist during the show get free admission. Please contact through the Contacts page us if you are interested in helping!



Thursday 21 September: The ups and downs of ‘doing good’ – lessons from Bwindi, Uganda by Gill Castle

The story of Omushana, Sunshine for Children – a small charity based in Shrewsbury and helping children in southwest Uganda. This illustrated talk will include observations and anecdotes (serious and amusing) on the pluses and minuses of charity and Fair Trade projects in the area.






Wednesday 27 September for 6 weeks: Following the success of the course we held in 2016, we are repeating it in Telford town centre 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. Course limited to 20 participants. For full details, see here.


Thursday  19 October AGM, to be followed by a discussion on charity and charities (following up on our previous talk).


Thursday 16 November: Jeremy Rodell, Dialogue Officer of the British Humanist Association

We’re currently living through what has been referred to as the biggest change in the religion and belief landscape in Britain since the Reformation, 500 years ago. But what’s really going on? What are the facts? And how can humanists respond? Jeremy will share the evidence – which is constantly being updated – and discuss the implications.






Sunday 10 December: Lunch at the Riverside Inn, Cound. 12.30 pm. Please inform us if you wish to come so that we can book the correct number of places.


Thursday 18 January 2018: 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. It can be a personal account or an objective review. The idea is that you talk about something that interests you and then you interest us!  You can use PowerPoint if you wish, but that is not essential. Please email the chairman with the title of your planned talk to prevent duplication.

Sunday 11 February 2018: When tickets go on sale, we shall reserve seats at the Darwin Lecture and arrange a social event in connection with it. The talk this year is “I, the Geologist”: Charles Darwin’s first career by Professor Martin Rudwick, retired professor in the history of science, who lives in Bishop’s Castle.

Planned meetings for 2018:

Thursday 15 March

Thursday 19 April

Thursday 17 May

Thursday 21 June

July social

Thursday 20 September

Thursday 18 October: AGM

Thursday 15 November

December social


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 Helen Taylor at

Download our calendar here (.ics file) for Outlook, Google Calendar and other calendar programs.

This calendar includes some meetings organised by others that might be of interest to local humanists. SHG is not responsible for these.

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