Summer with Shropshire Humanists

After 20 June, we do not have a Thursday evening event until September. We do have some social events over the summer, and don’t forget the Humanist garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show in August.

All social events are for members and their families, but you can also bring along interested friends. Some events must be booked in advance so we can plan for numbers: email Margaret Cann, tel 07703 540553.

Supporting the Shropshire Humanists Show garden, 30 June

Shropshire Humanists are creating their third Humanist Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show, on the theme HOPE #BelieveInTomorrow. Having been awarded a Large Gold Medal and the Mike Hough Memorial Trophy on both previous occasions, we have high hopes for this year!

To help with funding this project we are organising a PLANT/CAKE SALE on SUNDAY 30 June from 10.00 – 12.00 at the Black Pearl Florist, Greyfriars Bridge, Longden Coleham SY3 7DS. Please come and support us.

There will be plants, all sorts of garden related items, raffle prizes, tea, coffee and cakes, cakes cakes, cakes!  Want to help? We have already have some plants, cakes, jams, chutneys, raffle prizes and garden related items (pots, vases etc), but we need more. We can collect. If you have any items to offer or can help on the day, we’d love to hear from you.

Please contact: Carol Seager, tel 07981 452167, or Josephine Harding, 01743 354096

Sunday Brunch, 7 July

The next Sunday brunch will be on Sunday 7 July, 10 am for 10.15, at CSons, Milk Street, Shrewsbury. Family and friends are welcome. Please let Margaret Cann know at least 3 days in advance so she can tell  Csons how many to expect.

July Social, 21 July

Our annual summer social will be on Sunday, 21 July and is a riverside walk followed by lunch. You can come to both or either.

The walk: around Frankwell water meadows towards Shelton.  The water meadows are full of wild flowers in the summer. There is also an old fish weir to explore and some interesting views of the town. Return can either be by retracing our route (level) or via various steps up to The Mount along the way.
Length of walk: 1.5 – 2 miles max.
Time taken: Approx. 2 hours.
Wear warm/waterproof clothing and stout shoes as the ground may be wet and muddy. Parts may be uneven.
Leader: Helen Taylor Meeting point: 10.30 am, Car park end of Frankwell footbridge

Lunch will be at 12.30 pm at The Olive Tree, 85 Frankwell Roundabout, Shrewsbury SY3 8JR

To book, contact Margaret Cann. PLEASE BOOK by 1 July at the latest. When booking please say if booking for both walk and lunch or just one. And please remember to book before 1 July. Thank you!

20 June: Event to mark International Humanist Day on 21 June

We shall be celebrating International Humanist Day with short talks on various aspects of humanism through the world, including speakers’ experiences of humanism in New Zealand, Germany and South Africa. We will also be talking about the important work of the Humanists International. We shall also review the hostile attitude to humanism in various places round the world, including the death sentence for humanism in some countries.

Thursday 20 June at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome.

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.


16 May:  Introduction to the Bahá’í faith by Pete Hulme

Pete HulmePete 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 16 May at 7.30 pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. 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.

A Shropshire Humanist in South Africa

by Simon Nightingale, Chair, Shropshire Humanists

I have recently returned from a two week holiday in Cape Town where I was visiting my son, Sam, who is also a neurologist and is currently doing research there on HIV in the brain.

While there, I met an interesting group of people who call themselves DINK (the Afrikaans word for THINK). They’re all sceptical freethinkers and would consider themselves atheist or at least agnostic. They were keen to hear about humanism and so I gave them a talk. They did a recording of it and you can see it on YouTube.

However, it is similar to the talk I gave given to the Shrewsbury U3A which is rather better recorded.

Interestingly only 17% of the population of South Africa say that they live without religion (in the UK it’s >50%; among young people >70%). Virtually everyone else in South Africa is Christian.

The very large black African community are Christian of one kind or another. The largest group are known as the Church of Zion and it seems they’ve incorporated Evangelist Christian beliefs with a kind of ancient tribal ancestor worship. Very few South Africans call themselves humanist and indeed the members of DINK knew very little about humanism. I encouraged them to consider humanism which is a worldview with positive beliefs and values, rather than just being a negative atheist.

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18 April: Childhood Emotional Neglect: The Intergenerational Conundrum by Dr Angela Blanchard

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:

Ludlow and Marches Humanists, 16 April: Challenging Genesis – Heroes and villains writing the History of the Earth

A talk by Tony Martyr.  Tony is a mechanical engineer who has worked on projects in 44 countries of the world and is a retired visiting professor of Powertrain Engineering (University of Bradford). Tony also has a degree in Earth Sciences and a lifelong interest in the history of Science. He is the author of 4 editions of a textbook on engine testing and a popular science book about Why Projects Fail.

Tuesday 16 April 2019, 7.30pm, at The Friends Meeting House, St Mary’s Lane, Ludlow SY8 1DZ

All welcome.

Please note this is not organised by Shropshire Humanists.

Where do we get our morals? (audio)

A discussion between a Christian and a Humanist in front of a packed house, organised by Shropshire Humanists, between Simon Nightingale (Chair of Shropshire Humanists) and Peter Bellingham (Pastor at The Well, Shrewsbury).

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