Dying Matters Awareness Week

Many humanists are interested in matters relating to death and dying for various reasons, such as humanist funerals, topical issues such as assisted dying and existential questions about life and death. During Dying Matters Awareness Week (8-14th May), there are three public events in Shropshire.

SHREWSBURY 10TH MAY
On Wednesday 10th of May at 6.60pm, Dignity and Dying, who are supporting Noel Conway in his high court action to enable assisted dying, are holding a meeting for a new Shropshire branch in the Hobbs room of Shrewsbury Library.

SHREWSBURY 12TH MAY
Dying Matters Shropshire is holding a public event in the Square Shrewsbury on Friday 12th May from 10am to 2pm. There will be crafts, a talking about death & dying cafe, florist and so much more, encouraging the public to talk about death and dying asking people what they want to do before they die, and how they would like to be remembered. Simon Nightingale will be there (in the morning) to answer questions abut humanism and humanist funerals. Come and join us! For more details see here.

TELFORD 12TH MAY
Dying Matters Shropshire is also holding a public event called “You only Die Once” in the Telford Shopping Centre (TF3 4BX) from 9 am to 6pm on Friday 12th May. It will outside Pandora, which is near Marks and Spencer. There will be representatives from community health teams, Samaritans, Hospice etc. Humanism will be represented there with a table display staffed by some of the local humanist funeral celebrants, including Sue Falder and Simon Nightingale (in the afternoon). Come and join us.

Dr Simon Nightingale on BBC Radio Shropshire – Humanist views on forgiveness

Simon_NightingaleDr Simon Nightingale was on BBC Radio Shropshire on Sunday morning (20th November) delivering a ‘Pause for Thought’ on humanist views on forgiveness.

You can listen by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04dqz9k  and scrolling on the timeline between 1.19.30 and 1.26.30. The recording will be available for 1 month.

As Simon mentioned on the show, he will be giving a public talk on Humanism at the Engaging Issues Forum in Church Stretton on 29th November. For more information, please visit our blog post on the talk.

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.

Shropshire Humanist Group at the Multi-Cultural Fun Day, 17 September

hThe Shropshire Humanist Group has a stand at the Multi-Cultural Fun Day on 17th September in the grounds of the United Reform Church near the English Bridge in Shrewsbury.
We are there to reflect our humanist support for human rights, our stand against discrimination and to emphasise that, although we live without religion, we support religious freedom as well as freedom to live without religion.
Do come if you can. It should be fun!
Our chair Simon Nightingale, who will be at the stand, would welcome support. Please contact us through the contact form.

Introduction to Humanism: course in Shrewsbury Sept and Oct 2016

There will be an introductory course on Humanism in Shrewsbury this autumn. The course consists of 6 sessions, each lasting 2 hours (7 – 9 pm) on a Wednesday at weekly intervals in September and October 2016. The venue will probably be the University Centre in Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury (to be confirmed).

This 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 will be limited to 20 participants. You do not need to be a member of the British Humanist Association, but we would prefer (but don’t insist) that you are a member of the Shropshire Humanist Group.

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.

What do humanists believe? Sept 14
What are the historical roots of humanism? Sept 21
Where do humanists get their moral values? Sept 28
How do humanist handle moral dilemmas? Oct 5
What is the meaning and purpose of life for humanists? Oct 12
What do humanists do? Review of course. Oct 19
Meal for all participants

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

If you would like to come to the course and/or join the SHG, please contact the Secretary through this site.

Meeting Thurs 16 June: Jay Harman of the British Humanist Association on Faith Schools and Fair Admissions

We shall be holding our next meeting on Thursday 16 June at 7.30 pm at the University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Did you know that 1.2 million state school places in England and Wales are subject to discriminatory religious admissions criteria? Did you know that these schools can prioritise not just those of a certain faith but also those of other faiths over those of no faith? And did you know that these admissions policies don’t just segregate schools religiously but also ethnically and socio-economically?

The BHA believes that the freedom to discriminate against pupils on the grounds of their parents’ religious or non-religious beliefs is both wrong in principle and incredibly damaging in practice. In this talk we will discuss the ways in which this kind of discrimination manifests itself in schools today, the impact that it has in an increasingly diverse society and an increasingly irreligious one, and the campaigns the BHA is running in order to bring about a more open, inclusive, and integrated education system.

Jay Harman is the British Humanist Association’s Faith Schools and Education Campaigner. He works on all the BHA’s education issues, from school admissions and discrimination in employment, to religious education, collective worship and evolution vs creationism in schools.

Jay is on the steering groups of the Accord Coalition for inclusive education and the Fair Admissions Campaign, and is a representative of the BHA at the Religious Education Council for England and Wales.

Ludlow and Marches Humanists summer social, 21 June

Our neighbours the Ludlow and Marches Humanists are holding their  Summer Social on Sunday 21st June. They plan a walk from the Cliffe at Dinham car park (SY8 2JE) followed by lunch at the Cliffe.  Lunch has been booked for 12.30pm. If you are interested in joining in, please contact David Trotter.

The walk will be along the Teme and over Whitcliffe Common, with points of interest on the way. The less energetic will not have to make the climb up Whitcliffe. The walk will be lead by Juliet & David Trotter. Please bring suitable clothing and boots or stout shoes.

%d bloggers like this: