Thursday 17 October: AGM followed by Erica Buist on cultural variations in dealing with bereavement

Please come and participate in our AGM at University Centre, 7.30 pm on 17 October.

Erica Buist is a journalist, mostly for the Guardian, Medium and the BBC. She has just finished a journey to seven of the world’s death festivals. It was sparked by the day she and her husband found his father dead and she realised the full extent to which we in the West suffer from death denial and mortal terror. The resulting book, This Party’s Dead, will be published in 2020 and is available for preorder at

18 October: AGM and video and discussion on Modern Slavery

Our AGM takes place at our regular Thursday evening this month. We look forward to seeing our members and potential members, please come and get involved! The formalities will be followed by a short video on Modern Slavery, and a discussion on the topic.Thursday 18 October, 7.30 pm, at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. Voluntary donations requested. You are very welcome to arrive at 7 pm for coffee/tea and to chat to other members and visitors.

Next meeting: 19 October, AGM and discussion on Charity. A great two years!

Painting by Carol Seager

Painting by Carol Seager

In October, the Shropshire Humanist Group holds its Annual General Meeting. We do not have a speaker after the AGM, but we shall have a discussion to which all members and guests can contribute. This year the planned topic is on charity and related issues, following our September talk on “The ups and downs of ‘doing good’”, about a local children’s charity operating in a part of Uganda. Possible matters to discuss include the effects of charity (which Gill Castle talked about at our meeting), distributive justice, unfair inequality and the basic economics of charity.

All are welcome (voluntary donations are requested), and we shall be glad to have new people and ideas involved in our activities. Thursday 19 October at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

SHG has made enormous progress in the last 2 years. Following the move to the University Centre as our regular venue, we have much increased our attendance at meetings and have been able to be involved in new events. We have had more chances to introduce Humanism to the local public and enable people to say, ‘I’m a humanist but I didn’t know that I was’.

We have held public meetings to explain humanism in both Shrewsbury and Telford, followed by courses on humanism in both places. We have also been represented at a number of cultural diversity events in Shropshire. We must not forget the wonderful and creative garden by our member Carol Seager at the Shrewsbury Flower Show, which placed Humanism in front of many thousands of people and won two top awards as well!

Our increased membership has enabled us to support worthy causes, including the fund of the International Humanist and Ethical Union to help people persecuted for their non-belief, and our member Noel Conway’s court case concerning the law on assisted dying.

We shall continue to arrange social events as well as our speaker and discussion meetings. Social events enable humanists and non-religious people to get together, chat and make friends. The latest British Social Attitudes survey shows that 53% of the UK population say they belong to no religion, and that rises to 71% of 18-24 year olds.

So, if you are a humanist or you think that humanism represents your beliefs, or you are just interested in what we are doing, please come along!

20 October meeting: AGM and discussion on multi-culturalism

As usual in October, Shropshire Humanist Group will be having its AGM. It is at the University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ at 19.30. (Please note: the calendar may be displaying this as 18.30 – this is a technical error.)
We have been delighted to see so many new faces in the audiences this year, and we hope that as many as possible of you will come to the AGM. We welcome new ideas and hopefully some new members on the committee to increase our activities.
And also as usual we shall follow the AGM (time permitting) with a discussion.
This year the proposed topic is Multi-culturalism: to what extent is it possible or desirable in a cohesive society? Are there limits? Here are some thoughts:

SHG has contributed at multicultural events this year and these events tend to present multiculturalism as the continuation of the ancestral folk music and dances and traditional clothing of particular groups. However, at the other end, some ‘communities’ continue to practise forced marriage, female genital mutilation, coercion of women and attacks on those who leave the shared religion. These practices would be regarded as abhorrent by humanists, and are at least in theory mostly illegal. There have been reports of the authorities colluding in these, for example, police returning abused wives to their husbands.
The question is, where should we draw the line? Should ‘communities’ be allowed to practise and regulate customs that deviate from what is considered normally acceptable in British society, and to what extent should they be allowed to practise compulsion on their members? Should the government support those who leave their religion or try to escape coercion?

Again, we would welcome an offer to open and lead the discussion from someone not on the current committee.
Please contact the Secretary or use the contact form on this site.

15 October: AGM and discussion on the ethics of eating meat

Our AGM takes place on 15 October. We welcome both members and others who may be interested in joining.

Many people say that they are humanists but didn’t know it until they discovered humanism. Please come and help us make everyone aware of what humanism is and what the British Humanist Association does.

We would like some new people to come and help us on the committee and continue our work next year.

The AGM will be followed by a discussion on the ethics of eating meat. There is not only the humane argument about breeding and eating animals, but also the question of the resources required to provide meat. What’s your view? Please come along and contribute.

Thursday 15 October at 7.30 pm at The Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury SY1 4NG. Donations are requested to cover the cost of room hire, refreshments etc.

20 May: Ludlow and Marches Humanists AGM

ludlowOur neighbours the Ludlow and Marches Humanists will be having their Annual General Meeting on May 20th – as well as the usual committee necessities, they have a very interesting video from the BHA on Humanist ceremonies – birth, marriage & death. It will last about 20 minutes. Plus cakes and, maybe not ale, but a range of non-alcoholic refreshments.

They are looking for volunteers for their committee. Of the four currently active committee members, two are still in full time work, and one is virtually a full time carer. Any help is welcome, but we would particularly appreciate help in the areas of publicity, membership, generation of the newsletter, and assistance with the web page – even consideration of a Facebook presence, but if you really want to be the next chair or secretary, that would be equally welcome.

They’re also looking for ideas for the summer social this year – note that Jim Al Khalili (BHA President) will be at the Hay Festival on 31 May – could they make that an outing or organise another walk and pub lunch?

If you’re in their area, you’ll be very welcome. Let them know if you need assistance with transport on the evening. Contact rocheforts [at]

Coming up: AGM and ‘the limits to free speech’

 The 2013 AGM will be held on Thursday 17 October at 7.30 pm at The Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury SY1 4NG .  After the business part of the meeting Helen Taylor will be leading a discussion on the limitations of free speech.  As always visitors will be welcome, although only members will be able to join in any voting at the AGM.
We now have a record number of members and there is considerable support for the programme.  As part of the AGM we need to elect a new committee.  Nominations, including self nominations, are invited.
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