Winter 2020

I hope you are well, not too storm-blown and prospering.

Andrew I., John G. and I met in an executive meeting yesterday and we were delighted that Brian G-B could join us.  Perhaps you would like to hear about one or two of the subjects we considered:

    Our February group meeting was enriched by a lead-off from Brian G-B, on the subject ‘Are humanists elitist?’  It was an interesting, flowing debate. Brian’s questioning left us wondering how our group might become more diverse.
    It would be good to welcome more people on to the executive.  We meet approximately every 6 weeks and encourage those with ideas about how we can spread humanist views.  Many of those interested locally, have roles on other causes, charities etc, we are busy people.  However, if you could spare some time … come along to our next meeting, to test out the ground.
    Many of us are happy to get humanist news and articles through Facebook or our Website pages but one or two prefer information sent by post.  Are you happy that you are receiving regular information bulletins?  If not, please tell us and say what is your preferred means of communication.  Do we need to telephone some members, to remind them and get them along to meetings?
    George and Roy used to produce frequent newsletters, should we try to re-create this service?  The posting you are reading now, could become a re-start of a more regular and frequent  newsletter, especially if someone has an urgent desire to be Newsletter Editor.
    Laura Grimson, a Leamington based Humanist UK Celebrant, has been named Best Celebrant of the year at the UK Wedding Awards.  If you are reading this Laura –Congratulations.  Here is an open invitation to you, come to our next meeting and meet local humanists, some of them may want to get married!
    School speakers, including Jane S, have been active in the area, talking to pupils in primary and secondary schools about Humanism as a world view alternative to religion.  Brian G-B is soon to train to be a school speaker, perhaps if he tells us about his experience it will encourage readers to apply for the training.


Saw this on Humanists UK website today –

80% of parents think state schools should have a mix of pupils from different backgrounds, new report finds

February 27th, 2020

80% of parents think state schools should admit pupils from a variety of different backgrounds and a further 76% believe that they should reflect the make-up of the local community, according to new research by the Sutton Trust. The poll, published today, also found strong support for reducing segregation and improving social mix among seniors.

Now that could be out of Humanists UK’s Campaign against Faith Schools!

Bob Jelley

Here is the latest Humanist viewpoint to be published in the Warwickshire press.

Lets re-evaluate our treatment of animals

It is tempting to see the Corona virus as a warning message from the planet’s wild life to Humans. The messenger is a virus that can cross species doing great harm to the new hosts.

Humans, and in particular the Chinese, have long exploited wildlife with very little thought either to the morality or the consequences of their actions.When I lived in Hong Kong it was common in street markets to see wild animals penned up waiting slaughter. I particularly remember seeing a young deer cowering fearfully in the corner of a cage and probably sensing what was to come.

It is perhaps a silver lining of the Corona outbreak that in future there will greater efforts to curtail the poaching of wild life which in some cases like the pangolin ( an ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine) is pushing species to the brink of extinction. It was encouraging to read that “The coronavirus epidemic is swiftly pushing China to re-evaluate its relationship with wildlife,” Steve Blake, chief representative of Wild Aid in Beijing, told the Guardian.“There is a high level of risk from this scale of breeding operations both to human health and to the impacts on populations of these animals in the wild.”

Humanism as part of its philosophy advocates a rational and factual approach to solving human problems. It also promotes actions and policies that are likely to enhance human welfare in the long and short run. In our view everyday kindliness is an important virtue that we would like to be taught in all schools preferably not a part of religious teaching, but as a natural instinctive reaction to life’s problems. Kindliness cannot be applied exclusively to any one group, race or country but include everyone.  It should also include our treatment of wildlife not only as a moral principle but also as we are seeing every day to our cost, for the benefit of the human race which is far from immune to whatever is happening to our planet and its wildlife.

Brian Nicol (Dr)

Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists

Diary dates

Next meeting: Next Meeting of Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists is on Thursday 19th March 2020, Waverley Road, Kenilworth.

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.

See you there.

Green drinks

Local humanist friends and other green thinking and socially aware people e.g Friends of the earth, Greens, etc are invited to drinks every first Wednesday evening of the month, 7.30 onwards, at the Tiltyard, 25 Leyes Ln, Kenilworth CV8 2DE.

In case of re-arrangement and for any other queries contact Tracey Drew or phone 01926 857782