Coventry & Warwickshire Humanist

October 2017

Issued by Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists

4 Collett Walk, Barrowfield Lane, Kenilworth CV8 1GZ

Website: Twitter: @CWHums

FB and Newsletter Editor: Derek Franklin

Tel: 01926 258413


A self-governing voluntary association affiliated to the International Humanist and Ethical Union [IHEU] and to the National Secular Society [NSS].

freedom / happiness / virtue

Humanism in the curriculum


We are very grateful to two of our members, Jane Sault and Bob Jelly, who have given their time recently to visit Campion School, Leamington Spa and talk to pupils there about Humanism.  The invitation came from a teacher there with a particular interest in Humanism.  Jane and Bob each give a brief report below about their experience, and it’s clear that they gave the pupils some food for thought.  We hope we will get more invitations like this, and it’s always good to spread the word!


Jane writes…


“My talk was delivered to a top year 8 class at Campion School on Tuesday. Pupils were generally alert and receptive and, when I thought they were tired of listening to me or watching my power point slides, I showed a link to a couple of Stephen Fry’s videos.


I also asked them to discuss a few matters amongst themselves e.g. is it right that I, as a humanist, celebrate Christmas? (The answer was an overwhelming ‘yes’ because they thought I should have the same amount of fun as everyone else!) I then gave a brief history of Christmas and Easter.


At the end of the session, a handful of students asked some very pertinent questions including a young lady who asked on behalf of those sitting around her if there was a website she could go on to find out more/join the humanists.


It was great that their teacher invited us in to talk to her pupils, although I think she was a bit upset that I had pressed on the pupils how important science thinking was (even though I had mentioned our support of the Arts too) . She explained that all the arts subjects in her school are being marginalised to accommodate more science in the curriculum.”


Bob’s report was as follows:


“I’m just back from Campion School and a session with a Year 7 class, about 25 pupils and their teacher.


There was a laptop, linked to the Net and a projector.  I asked lots of questions and praised all answers, wrong ones included.  We worked out a rough timeline for religions, leaving the question hanging … how old is humanism?


When a change was needed, we used 1 of the Stephen Fry videos, from the Humanists UK site, overall we used 3 of the 4 videos, just missed out the one on ‘Death’.


We talked about atheism, agnosticism … why is it that Humanists want to lead a good life? … back to The Golden Rule.


Pupils talked about a story from their family, of someone deceased who had appeared in a dream after their passing …


We talked about belief and faith, reason and science.


Their teacher told them at the end that the objective of R.E. was to to give the pupils a taste of different religions, after that it was up to each of them to make decisions.


The session lasted for 50 minutes and I think it went well.”

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Cooperation between people with common goals is needed

The Humanist viewpoint below was published on 6 October 2017 in three of the Courier Series of newspapers (Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick)


Cooperation between people with common goals is needed


Humanists are concerned with human welfare and happiness but also care about the natural world which is is not an optional extra as mankind depends on the natural world for its survival as a species.


Traditionally religious people believe that their God created the world and gave humans stewardship over it. This is not a view shared by Humanists and others who believe that human beings evolved and go on evolving, along with the rest of nature. We recognize that human welfare is highly dependent on the environment and the continued existence of many other species. Humanists also appreciate the happiness and inspiration that contact with nature and animals can bring. Conversely they believe that indifference to animal welfare and ignoring cruelty can only degrade human sensibilities.


Integral to the Humanist outlook is a scientific view of the world. It was and is scientists – mainly biologists and ecologists – who noticed and monitored environmental problems. However it is society at large that must take the responsibility for how we choose to use scientific and technological developments. Tackling global warming, possibly the most pressing problem of our age, cleaning up our planet and finding new sources of energy will be tasks for scientists and engineers and the rest of us (especially those of us in the wealthier nations) must be prepared to fund and support their work.


Humanists were involved in setting up organisations such as UNESCO, which has world wide environmental responsibilities. We have always supported birth control as an important contribution to lessening the demands on the environment and were active in helping to set up United Nations birth control programmes. Of course Humanists share many aspirations with rational and concerned people of all beliefs. Most environmental campaign groups, such as Greenpeace, Compassion in World Farming, Friends of the Earth and the World Wide Fund for Nature are non-religious and supported by people of all faiths and none. Cooperation between people with common goals, whatever their other differences, is vital if progress is to be made.


George Broadhead

Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists

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Green drinks

Local humanist friends are invited, along with other green thinking and socially aware people e.g Friends of the earth, Greens, etc, to Green Drinks every 1st Wed evening of the month, 7.30 onwards, at The Engine, 8 Mill End, Kenilworth CV8 2HP. Next meeting Wednesday 1st November. Look forward to seeing you. In case of re-arrangement and for any other queries contact Tracey Drew or phone 01926 857782

Coventry Skeptics in the Pub

Did Churchill Sacrifice Coventry?

A talk by historian Frederick Taylor.

Wednesday 15th November 7.30PM at the Twisted Barrell Ale Brewery and Tap House, Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry CV1 5ED