Here you’ll find the latest news snippets we have picked up on. Please contact us if you think there is something we should feature here.
Today, the advice from the Govt and its medical advisors was quite clear, maintain social distance, to keep the virus away, especially if you are elderly or have underlying health problems.
That being so C & W Humanists have cancelled the meeting planned for this Thursday. 19th March
Our apologies for this situation but we know you will understand.
Dear friends of Birmingham Humanists
This is to let you know that our meeting planned for 18th March has been postponed until later in the year. In the light of the current situation, Birmingham Humanists are suspending all public meetings for the time being.
Our next Meeting of Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists is on
Thursday 19th March 2020 at 7 for a 7.30 start.
Venue: Waverley Day Centre, Waverley Road, KenilworthCV8 1JL.
** Please make a note on your calendar now! **
Richard Moore, Deputy Chief Constable, Warwickshire Police will talk to us about issues facing the Police, including the rise of knife crime and how they survive reductions in funding.
We will have the usual format of an introduction by our chairman, Bob Jelley, to include notices, then the talk with some time for questions afterwards, followed by light refreshments and a chance to socialise.
There will be a voluntary collection to defray costs.
Laura Grimson, local Humanist UK Celebrant just won Best Celebrant Prize 2020.
Well done Laura!
This Thursday, 13th February, doors open at 7 p.m. for our
C & W Humanists meeting, at Waverley Rd, Kenilworth.
Brian Goredema- Braid will lead on:
‘Is Humanism elitist?’
Also hear about the up coming ‘ Sacred Places’ project in Coventry. We are minded to support it, what do you think?
Controversy regarding the OHCHR definition of anti semitism, would you support it?
Our next meeting is on March 19th, Richard Moore, Deputy Chief Constsble of Warwickshire will lead a discussion about policing (watch where you park).
News about local humanists work.
Chaplain for a mayor?
Can a Padre be a humsnist?
Hope to see you on Thursday.
The viewpoint below was published in Warwickshire newspapers on Friday 17 January.
Let’s achieve legislation for Humanist marriages this year
One of the things high on Humanists’ New Resolutions list this year is to achieve the long awaited legal recognition of Humanist marriages, without couples having to go to a registrar.
In England and Wales, the Marriage Act 2013 created a new category of legally recognised marriage in England and Wales – ‘marriages according to the usages of belief based organisations’. This category was created by the UK Parliament so that the Government could give legal recognition to Humanist marriages whenever it chose to do so. But since then nothing has happened. That means that over 1000 couples a year are having a ceremony that is very meaningful to them but which is not legally recognised. This is not acceptable and we have long urged the UK Government to act swiftly to rectify it.
We are encouraged by Humanist supporters in the House of Lords. A new bill, proposed by the cross bencher Baroness Meacher, proposing legal recognition of Humanist marriages in England and Wales came ninth in the private members’ bill ballot last month. The bill proposes to give legal recognition to marriages by Humanists UK celebrants. Baroness Meacher previously led amendments to the 2013 Marriage Act in support of the same outcome.
This proposed bill is not the first time that peers have intervened on Humanist marriage, with large cross-party support being evident in Parliament last year. We have to ask why, in England and Wales, Humanist marriages are not legally recognised, despite the law required for them to do so being on the statue books for more than six years?
We want the law throughout the UK but also the Crown Dependencies to allow Humanist celebrants to conduct legally recognised marriages, as it does in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey. This would give non-religious people the same choice that religious people have, of a meaningful ceremony conducted by a person who shares their values and approach to life. Non-religious people in many other countries, from the Republic of Ireland to Australia to New Zealand to the USA already enjoy this choice and take full advantage of it. For example in Scotland where they gained legal recognition in 2005, numbers have risen from 85 in the first year to over 6,000 in 2018 – some 22% of the total. The Humanist Society of Scotland provides more marriage ceremonies than the Church of Scotland or any other religion or belief group. In the Republic of Ireland Humanist marriages gained legal recognition in 2012. In 2018, nine per cent of legally recognised marriages were Humanist, placing the Humanist Association of Ireland only behind the Catholic Church and civil marriages.
This is an outstanding human rights issue affecting thousands of couples and the Government should go ahead and resolve it immediately.
Dr Brian Nicol
Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists
For that day the rain ceased, the sun shone and the various uniformed youth marched smartly to the band. The clergy, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, voiced the prayers of the faithful and wee placated our Humanist souls with thankful hearts.
The Last Post was sounded then two minutes silence, broken only by the bark of a dog. There was a palpable sense of wholesomeness during that brief time. Then the Reveille .. There was a reading by a stately lady pastor, Eniiwagu Etomi who added an international essence and charm to the overwhelming sadness of the day.
A solemn laying of the wreathes with accompanying hymn, assisted by the Marshal and cadets. (I personally needed help as the array of wreathes was high on the stand).
When all has passed down the slope, in the footsteps of the now fading band, we gathered on the steps of the Memorial, to inspect the large number of tributes laid there. We had with us, a uniformed member of the Royal Army Medic Corps and once spotted by the crowd, he bravely faced the onslaught of ‘selfie seekers’ and one old soldier who recognised the cap badge.
The crowd went away, well satisfied that they had been involved in a thoughtful ceremony.
supporting non-religious people in hospitals and other settings
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 7.30–9.30pm
149–153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP
Religious people have ready access to pastoral support in hospitals, prisons and other institutions. But what about people who have no religious belief? It is important for people to have the option to receive support from a like-minded person at a time of crisis. There is a huge imbalance, though, in the provision: about a third of people in prison and between 22% and 45% of people in hospital say they have no religion, yet all except one of the 800-odd paid chaplains are religious, as are 99% of the thousands of volunteers. Humanists UK is trying to redress this, so that everyone can benefit from pastoral support appropriate to their needs, values and beliefs.
At this meeting, Simon O’Donoghue, who leads Humanist Care, the pastoral arm of Humanists UK, will be joined by two of our members who are pastoral support volunteers.
Please note that the Moseley Exchange building is fully accessible, with disabled access to meeting rooms via a lift, and with hearing loops.
Hope to see you there!
‘What Science has to say about evolution, creationism, the age of The Universe and the biological processes which have produced homo sapiens.
How this has contradicted directly what many religions taught.’
My lifelong interest in science developed further when reading physics and meteor astronomy at Manchester University. When a lecturer at Coventry University I concentrated on small computer systems.
On Thursday 7th March:
‘Are Faith Schools Dividing Society’
Presented by Dr. Ruth Wareham, Humanists UK’s new Education Campaigns Manager.
Venue: Conference Room, Sydney Stringer School, 2 Primrose Hill Street, COVENTRY, CV1 5LY
Stoke Green, Coventry, has just welcomed its own Green Man, alongside a new avenue of trees, which will in time, replace some elderly horse chestnuts. Thanks to Bob Jelley for photo.
On Remembrance Sunday local Humanists were represented in wreath laying at ceremonies in Coventry, Bedworth, Leamington, Nuneaton, Rugby and Warwick.
Many thanks to Bob Jelley for organising this and all the volunteers taking part.
Humanists UK invited for the first time to participate in Remembrance service at the Cenotaph. Click here
Ban hymns and prayers in schools say academics. See TES article here
Ireland set to hold blasphemy referendum on 26 October
Full story from NSS here
First humanist head of an NHS Chaplaincy and Pastoral Support team
Full story click here
Serving vicar wins Secularist of the Year. Click here for full story.
Humanists UK expresses dismay at BBC Religion and Ethics Review
The Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service included people of no faith
At the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service held at St Paul Cathedral this morning it was announced that the service was for people of all faiths and none.
That it included people of no faith was also mentioned on the BBC TV’s lunchtime news bulletin.
Does this mean that the statistics showing a majority of UK citizens have no faith (53% according to the latest British Social Attitudes survey) are now accepted? Let’s hope so.
Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists
The Pink Triangle Trust
Joan Bakewell wins Humanist of the Year 2017 award. Click here for Humanists UK article.
George Broadhead comments in our December newsletter.
GIVE AS YOU LIVE. How you can directly help the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust. All you have to do is go shopping! It’s easy, click here
IHEU Freedom of Thought Report click here
Archbishop of Canterbury attacks non-church schools. Humanists UK report here
NSS accuses Welby of ‘cynical abuse of religious privilege’ over Lords education debate.
NSS Report here
Latest British Social Attitudes reveals 71% of young adults are non-religious, just 3% are Church of England.
See full Humanists UK report here
See our latest post for Dr. Brian Nicol’s opinion piece on faith schools.
Ofsted head criticises segregation as Islamic school is taken over. NSS report here.
Noel Conway’s assisted dying hearing concludes in High Court. Humanists U.K. report here
See our post for George Broadhead’s thoughts.
CAMP QUEST UK SUMMER CAMP FOR FREETHINKING KIDS
AGE 7 – 11
May 28th – 31st 2017
AGE 12 – 18
August 20th – 26th 2017
For more information visit
Running camps in the UK since 2009, Camp Quest UK provides a varied, stimulating and nurturing environment for young people.
We mix physical activities like archery and climbing with mental activities like philosophical discussion and craft.
Our staff are volunteers who want to give young people a place to ponder the bigger questions in life among similarly inquisitive peers.
“Camp Quest was the first place I’ve felt like I fit in” – Lucy, a camper
BHA responds to Archbishop’s general election letter here
C&W Hum’s George Broadhead comments – ‘The Church of England is clearly rattled at the increasing proportion of the population that have no religious beliefs (as all polls and surveys show), its own steady decline in adherents and the increasing secularisation of the country. All this despite the continued privileges it enjoys and the extensive support it gets from the Establishment and the media.’
Irish police investigate Stephen Fry over a complaint of blasphemy. NSS report here
BHA report here
The latest The Birmingham Humanists Courier! paper.li/brumhums/13094
Happy faces at the Bistro Pierre, Leamington for our New Year dinner. Many thanks to Andrew for organising this.
What does Trump’s victory mean for Humanists?
Check out our topical guest blog written by Julian Webb, Membership Administration Officer for the Atheist, Humanist, and Secular Students and member of Exeter Humanists. We like to cover the major events in world politics! click here
“Schools should be inclusive and open to all“ says Dr Brian Nicol. Read more in our latest blog post. Click here
Many thanks to Andrew Ireland for arranging our recent Walk & Lunch social. Here’s three of our walkers catching the sun.
“Being religious or spiritual is linked to being more depressed” Dr Raj Persuad
News of C&WH member John Gainer
We are pleased to hear from John that he is back home after spending six days in hospital for a hip operation. The op was successful and his recovery is going well. Best wishes to you, John and we hope you are up and about soon.
Secularism: freedom, fairness and human rights
A short video from the NSS click here