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Welcome to West Sussex Humanists

Humanism is the view that we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values, and live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.

We represent the interests of the non-religious residents of West Sussex in local government, support Human Rights, and work towards equality and social cohesion.

West Sussex Humanists is also an umbrella organisation of local affiliated groups that meet regularly, currently Horsham Humanists and Chichester Humanists.

Our next meetings

9th April Horsham

The funny side of Humanism

Anchor Hotel

17th April Chichester

The funny side of Humanism

Chichester Inn

22nd April Horsham

NEW: Sunday morning
cafe social

Conservatory Cafe in the Park

Horsham InterFaith talk "An Atheist's Creed" 18th May 2013


Horsham Interfaith invited philosopher Dr Michael Palmer to talk about his latest book An Atheist's Creed.


Horsham Humanists meet the Unitarians 8th April 2013

DUNCAN VOICE representing the Unitarian Church of Horsham visited together with Patrick Wynn-Jones, Catherine Andrews and Carol Chambers, for a general chat about the Unitarian Church and their inclusive views.  The meeting was well attended and good discussions developed throughout a thoroughly enjoyable evening.


Brighton Science Festival talk: Darwin's Sacred Cause


Author James Moore, Professor of History at the Open University, gave a fascinating talk to a packed audience about how a hatred of slavery motivated Charles Darwin to investigate the origins of life and the racial differences in humans.  This was and still is a hot topic. Who said science was cold?


Paganism with Sadie Turner 19th November 2012


Our guest was Sadie Turner, Regional Coordinator of the South East Pagan Federation. After a barrage of questions, Sadie eventually managed to give us an overview of Paganism.

She firstly described what drew her to Paganism. Brought up by non-religious parents, she joined a Brighton coven at the age of 19. Being a feminist, she was attracted to the feminine side and light found in Paganism, preferring the goddess to the traditional male god of Christianity. After many years, she now emphasises balance and nature.


Humanists & Catholics discussion 17th September 2012


The aims of this well attended discussion between local Humanists and Catholics were to increase our mutual understanding, break down stereoptypes, find similarities and differences, and to consider secularism. Our special guests were Geoff and Gina Poulter of the local Catholic Bible School in Nutbourne.


Chichester Humanists and Baptists meeting 21st May 2012

Due to an emergency, the arranged speaker Ken Benjamin of Chichester Baptist Churches was unable to attend. At very short notice, two other members of Chichester Baptist Churches agreed to have an informal discussion with us.

We began by asking how the Baptist Church differs from the Church of England. Unlike the C of E, there is no overarching central authority. Each church is run along democratic lines.


Compassion in World Farming talk at Chichester 20th May 2013


Phil Brooke of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) gave a fascinating talk on animal welfare in farming and the role played by CIWF in reducing animal suffering.


SACRE meeting 4th March 2013

SACRE stands for Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education and is an unelected body that writes the local RE syllabus for schools and advises West Sussex County Council on matters concerning RE, including the daily act of worship.

For over 6 years I have been trying to join this group in order to represent the views of the non-religious residents of West Sussex. My applications in 2007 and 2010 were rejected for no given reason. According to the 2011 census, at least 25% of the population is non-religious. Also, 65% of 18-24 year olds are non-religious, according to the British Social Attitudes survey 2012. Religious practice is a declining minority occupation, with less than 7% of people regularly attending church.


Horsham Humanists talk with C of E Minister Hadge Hughes (November 2012)


We began by discussing the attendance by atheist Simon Clare (of Horsham Skeptics in the Pub) at an Alpha course. Simon said that he could not judge the course without understanding its content and intention. Simon explained that the course began with a promise to answer all the questions attendees had, yet his own questions had never found an answer. Hadge shared his own similar concerns about the Alpha course, finding it to be a prescriptive rather than an explorative process.

It was clear from the outset that Hadge was a secularist and so the discussion turned to a more personal view of religion and belief.


Crime & Punishment 15th October 2012

We had a lively discussion with varying views expressed.

The following notes cover the topics discussed.


The Science of Purpose 16th July 2012


Robert Stovold of Brighton & Hove Humanists posed the question "What is purpose, and can science study it?"

He began by arguing that, whilst human purpose cannot be directly observed, it can be inferred by its effects. Although scientists have never seen an electron, they can infer its existence by its effect on observable phenomena. Religious apolgists like mathematician John Lennox believe that science cannot answer the big questions. Others believe in intelligent design, where inferences are made about the design of a creator by observing certain organisms. Paradoxically, John Lennox believes both.


Chichester Humanists and Quakers discuss Conscientious Objection 16th April 2012

David Hibberd of Chichester Quakers gave an informative talk on what conscientious objection means for Quakers. The meeting was well attended and included other Quakers.

David also outlined what it means to be a Quaker. You can read a David's notes here.


Remembrance Sunday Campaign

The Chichester Observer made a video and wrote an article covering the laying of a Humanist wreath after the main religious ceremony. A transcript of the speech can be downloaded here.

Read more

Council prayers campaign

In March 2015, the government introduced the Local Government (Religious Observances) Act allowing councils to hold prayers during their meetings, overturning a High Court decision in 2011 (see below).

Read more

The non-religious should be represented on the Religious Education advisory council
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