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!

Meeting on 18 January: Hot Potato (open mike) session

Start 2018 with our HOT POTATO – OPEN MIKE meeting on Thursday 18 January 2018 at 7.30 pm, at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Anyone can talk for 5 minutes (exceptionally 10minutes) on any subject somewhat related to humanism or just something that’s important to you.

So if something interests or fascinates you – then you have a chance of interesting and fascinating us!

Last year the talks included a range of interesting topics such as assisted dying (by Noel Conway of course), humanist communities, the “Alt-Right” (Trump, Bannon, Putin etc), transgender issues, disability law and humanism, problems at a local faith school, picking up litter and someone read a clever and funny poem.

If you would like to do a short presentation, please email our chair Simon Nightingale chair@shropshire.humanist.org.uk and let him know.

You can use PowerPoint if you wish, but many don’t.



Help us celebrate Humanism in 2018

Our regular 21 June meeting in 2018 coincides with World Humanist Day. We would like to recognise this in an appropriate way.

We have provisionally booked the Square in Shrewsbury between 9 am and 5pm on 21 June for an event highlighting humanism.

We welcome artists, musicians, poets, dancers, craft workers, photographers and any others who wish to display their talents in keeping with the spirit of humanism.

Please note we are not allowed to sell goods, unless the profits go to charity.

If you would like to help, please contact Mal Brown or Margaret Cann, or inform any member of the committee.


Some local events of interest to humanists in Shropshire

Some events that may be of interest to Shropshire humanists. Please note that SHG is not organising these, so we can take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

Weds 15 November, 7.30 pm: Birmingham Humanists, Atheism versus Humanism, Moseley Exchange, 149-153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP

Mon 20 November, 7.30 pm: South Shropshire Interfaith Forum, Religion and Medicine in Conflict, United Reformed Church, 73 High Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6BY

Thurs 7 December, 10 am: U3A Philosophy Group, Socratic Dialogue on Humanism, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Do have a look what is happening at the Ludlow and Marches Humanist Group in Ludlow (email) and Engaging Issues in Church Stretton (Lesley Richards, 01694 722068).

Next meeting: 16 November, The big change in religion and belief – how might a Humanist respond?

Jeremy Rodell, Dialogue Officer of Humanists UK

Britain is currently going through what’s been called the biggest change in religion and belief landscape since the Reformation, 500 years ago. 53% of the population now say they belong to no religion, while the figure for 18-24 year olds is 71%.

But what’s really going on? What are the facts? And what are the practical implications? Can the non-religious help make it work? Jeremy Rodell is Humanists UK volunteer Dialogue Officer, and a former Trustee.

Thursday 16 November at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome, but voluntary donations requested.

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!

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