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.
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.
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.
Humanism: What is it and why is it important?
Over 50% of the UK population (and over 70% of young people) say they live without religion. Most of them have humanist beliefs, even if they do not call themselves humanists. Come and find out about humanism.
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 is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals Chaplaincy Committee and a member of the Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum. Currently he is chair of the Shropshire Humanist Group.
Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30-1.30pm, in Oswestry Library.
Admission £3 – Please book with library staff. Refreshments included- profits donated to OXFAM.
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.
We have been informed about the following local event that may be of interest. Please note that it is not organised by SHG, so we are not responsible for the content of the show or for this information.
Outside the Box – A Live Show About Death
WARNING: This show might change your life – or your death. Liz Rothschild is a performer, celebrant and award winning burial ground owner. Her unique insights and experiences have created a highly original and beautifully cathartic show, combining mercurial tales and miraculous truths, collected over the years from life’s ‘finishing line.’ Funny, wise and taboo busting; Outside The Box confronts the ‘elephant in the room’ with grace and humour, asking its audience to embrace mortality and look on the bright side of life.
Date and time: Saturday 10 February, 7.30 pm
Location: Chapel Lawn Village Hall, Chapel Lawn, Shropshire SY7 0BW
Age range: 13+
Tickets: Adult: £10.00 Child: £5.00
More information and trailer: http://www.artsalive.co.uk/show.aspx?id=10858
Enquiries: 01547 530871 / 07721 739973
In South Shropshire, North Herefordshire and the Welsh border areas there is another humanist group, our neighbours the Ludlow and Marches Humanists. A copy of their latest newsletter can be downloaded here and their website is here.
They always have an interesting programme, and the following meetings are planned:
20 February 2018 – “Telling people about Humanism” by Dr Simon Nightingale. Simon is a semi-retired neurologist and chair of Shropshire Humanist Group. He has given many talks on Humanism and is occasionally heard on Shropshire Radio. He participates in inter-faith discussions and will be considering techniques, tactics and pitfalls when communicating Humanist messages to people of different outlooks.
Thursday 8 March 2018, special meeting – on Brexit legislative programme by Lord Jeff Rooker: Please note that this meeting only will be in the Zion room at the Methodist Church Hall, Broad Street, Ludlow. Jeff Rooker will be concentrating on the progress of the legislative programme through the House of Lords, full title yet to be revealed.
20 March 2018 – The Reverend Kelvin Price, Rector of Ludlow. Talk title to be agreed. We have not had a formal talk from the Church of England for many years now, and it will be interesting to see his approach to falling numbers and alternative uses of church buildings, as well as the continuing relevance of the C of E as a state religion.
17 April 2018 – Christine Hyde on Greece ”Changed or Unchanged” – Chris and Hugh spent several years in Greece and grew to appreciate the culture, albeit different in many ways from our own. Chris will be concentrating on
the village (Elaia) and area they know best, quote: “I will talk about customs still practiced from Dorian times, the Orthodox Church, and the Evil Eye, ending with a few photos of the wild life. Hence the suggested title”.
15 May 2018 – AGM. As usual, we will try to make this an interesting evening, with cake and refreshments and either a video or a special discussion to follow the AGM.
Engaging Issues is a church-based group in Church Stretton, but its talks are often of interest to humanists and others.
Tuesday 6 February – “Can Christians talk with one voice about God?”. Dr Benjamin Wood is a Quaker ethicist and theologian, interested in the relationship between faith & society, secular politics and the Church.
Tuesday 27th February – “Britain’s Housing Affordability Crisis”. Chrissie Pepler
7:30pm in the United Reformed Church, High Street, Church Stretton. A £3 donation is requested to defray expenses.
Shropshire Humanist Group is planning to extend its social activities, to enable local humanists to get together and interested persons to meet humanists informally.
Ideas we are exploring are coffee afternoons, Sunday family breakfasts, special interest groups on different topics and themed walks. If anyone would like to take a lead on any of these, offers are very welcome.
We are having a Snowdrop Walk in Cound on Saturday 17 February, starting from the Guildhall (village hall) at 2 pm. The walk should take no more than about one and a half to two hours.
The Guildhall is open for tea, coffee, soup and cakes from 11 – 4.30 on 10/11 and 17/18 February. We assume the second-hand bookshop will also be open.
The walk is level, but with stiles and gates, and likely to be rough and somewhat muddy, so come prepared with good footwear and warm/waterproof clothing, depending on the weather that day.
It would be helpful if you can let us know in advance by email, so we have an idea of numbers.
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 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).