Carol does it again: Garden celebrating humanist ceremonies wins top prizes at Shrewsbury Flower Show

Carol Seager, a member of Shropshire Humanists, has repeated her success from 2017, winning again a Large Gold Medal and the Mike Hough Memorial Trophy for best outdoor show garden. This garden is part of the show theme ‘Times Gone By’ and is entitled ‘Dawn till Dusk’. Its centrepiece is a sundial, a way of marking the passing of time, a metaphor for life’s journey marked by the ceremonies of baby namings, weddings and funerals.

The garden places humanism and humanist ceremonies and the celebrants who officiate at them in front of tens of thousands of visitors to the show.

Congratulations to Carol, Chris and Carol’s team of helpers!

More information later, and we hope to take some pictures in the sunshine on Saturday.



 

Introduction to Humanism: course in Shrewsbury, September/October

This course, run by members of Shropshire Humanists, has been popular in previous years, so we are running it again in Shrewsbury this year. The six-week course is intended for anybody who is interested in humanism and wishes to find out more about its principles and the activities of humanists.  No previous knowledge of humanism or philosophy is required.

The course consists of 6 sessions, each lasting 2 hours (7–9 pm) on Wednesdays at weekly intervals in September and October 2018. The venue is the University Centre in the Guildhall on Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. The Guildhall is just east of the Welsh Bridge by the footbridge to the Riverside Shopping Centre. It is 5 minutes walk from the rail and bus stations and there is free parking in the evenings. The venue has wheelchair access.

The course will be limited to 20 participants. You do not need to be a member of the national organisation Humanists UK, but we would prefer (but don’t insist) that you are or become a member of the Shropshire Humanists.

A course folder, which is distributed at the beginning of the course, includes all the material needed for the discussions on which the course is based.  Participants are encouraged to read the material in advance, so that they can bring contributions and questions to each session.

The sessions are:

1        What do humanists believe?    Sept 12

2        What are the historical roots of humanism?      Sept 19              

3        Where do humanists get their moral values?    Sept 26

4        Meaning and purpose of life for humanists     Oct   3

5        How do humanists handle moral dilemmas?       Oct 10

6        What do humanists do? Review course.         Oct 17

We plan to have a meal together after the last session. There will be a fee of £20 for the course to cover expenses.

If you would like to come to the course and/or join the Shropshire Humanists, please download and fill in this form. If the course is full, we will return your money and invite you to the next course that we hold.

Some pictures from World Humanist Day, #Shrewsbury

This year we marked World Humanist Day, 21 June, with a display in the Square, in the centre of Shrewsbury. The weather was bright and sunny but a strong breeze meant that we had to be careful not to let things blow away. Our regular evening meeting continued the theme with presentations and exhibitions by members.

Arts and crafts by members.

If you’re wondering about the musical instruments made from junk, see whackitsmackit.co.uk

The puzzles were very popular. Contact our chair, Dr Simon Nightingale, for information.

Humanism in the community.

 

21 June: World #Humanist Day in #Shrewsbury

World Humanist Day is celebrated every year on June 21. It is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organisations to publicize the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement, and the International Humanist and Ethical Union has been celebrating the day since the 1980s.

This year, the regular meeting of Shropshire Humanists coincides with World Humanist Day, and we’ve decided to mark the day by bringing Humanism to the centre of town. We shall be in the Square in Shrewsbury during the day with stalls demonstrating various craft activities that members are engaged in, including demonstrations of puzzles, upholstery, photography, junk music, batik, and rag rug making, live music and information regarding Humanism. This will continue at our usual meeting place in the evening from 7.00 at the University Centre.

We shall will be setting up stalls about 9.30 to hold activities from 10am to 3pm. Any offers of help with setting up, handing out leaflets and speaking to members of the public, playing music, exhibiting activities and clearing up at the end will be gratefully accepted. Or join us from 7.00 pm at the at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

For more information please contact Mal Brown through the Contact page on this site.

4 July: Public talk on Humanism in Shrewsbury

Dr Simon Nightingale, Chair of Shropshire Humanists, will be giving a public talk Humanism: what it is and why it is important on Wednesday 4 July at 7.30 pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Humanists believe one can lead a good life and be a good person without religion.  Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.

At present over 50% of the UK say they live without religion and among young people it is over 70%.

Dr Nightingale, a retired consultant neurologist from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, has been working for humanism for some years, conducting humanist funerals and weddings. He is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury SACRE – the Local Authority committee that oversees Religious Education and Collective Worship in our Shropshire state schools and a member of the Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum. Currently he is chair of Shropshire Humanists, the organisation that has arranged this talk.

For those who are interested in learning more about humanism, Shropshire Humanists will be running a six-week course in September/October in Shrewsbury.

 

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!

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