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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

18th September Chichester

Talk: How to Be Reasonable
(by someone who tried everything else)

ChichesterHumanistsRebeccaFoxHowToBeReasonable18thSept2018deb 

Chichester Inn

8th October Horsham

Our usual social chat.
Learn about Humanism

Anchor Hotel

Humanists & Catholics discussion 17th September 2012

ChichesterHumanistsGeoffPoulterTalkHumanistsAndCatholics17thSeptember2012debate

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.

 

Religious schools and school religion: talk given to Brighton & Hove Humanists 4th April 2012

Brighton & Hove Humanists invited me to give a talk on Religious Schools and Religious Education.

About 30 members attended the meeting in an ideal back room of The Lord Nelson pub. After the talk there was a drinks break, giving people the opportunity to have a chat.

 

SACRE meeting 5th March 2012

As usual, I attended this meeting of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) as a silent observer. West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has barred non-religious membership.

The meeting welcomed new member Jenny Cole, representing the Quaker movement. Humanists have a great deal in common with Quakers. Chichester Humanists has invited Chichester Quakers to give a talk on conscientious objection in April.

 

Horsham Humanists talk by celebrant Martin Wooller 6th February 2012

HorshamHumanistsMartinWoollerCelebrant6thFebruary2012debate

Martin Wooller, Humanist celebrant, gave a most interesting talk about his role in Humanist ceremonies: baby namings, weddings/partnerships and funerals.

After retiring early, Martin felt the need to contribute something to society and decided to become a Humanist celebrant. He also trains people to become celebrants. After 10 years, he considers this to be the most rewarding experience of his life.

 

NUT talk at Chichester Humanists 23rd January 2012

ChichesterHumanistsTalkChrisMilesNUT23rdJanuary2012Debate

Chris Miles, primary school teacher, NUT representative and secretary of the Joint Consultative Committee, talked to a well attended meeting about religion in schools.

After a brief personal description of her long involvement in teaching and the NUT, Chris considered the introduction of collective worship in schools.

 

The Science of Purpose 16th July 2012

ChichesterHumanistsTalkRobertStovold16thJuly2012debate

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.

 

Chichester Humanists discuss The Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything 19th March 2012

After discussing local and national news, members turned their attention to the topic of the evening: The Meaning of Life.

This was the shortest discussion so far, perhaps an indication that this is a question of more importance to those of a religious persuasion. The following points were made about the meaning of life for Humanists.

 

Free speech rally 11th February 2012

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West Sussex Humanists attended this important rally in support of free speech.

On a beautiful, freezing day outside the houses of parliament, we listened to moving speeches from speakers representing different organisations.

For more details and podcasts of speeches, visit the Pod Delusion website.

 

"Religion and our schooling system" The Argus 9th January 2012

TheArgusFaithInSchool9thJanuary2012

Word version here

 

Southwater Oasis Free School

This evening, a group of Horsham Humanists attended the public consultation for the proposed new free school Southwater Oasis Secondary.

The room was packed. After a presentation from HCT and Oasis, questions and comments were invited. Every one of them was critical. What a grubbing the two speakers got.

I managed to ask the following question. "Why are you proposing a Christian school rather than a fully inclusive community school, especially when less than 5% of people attend church monthly? Only 9% of Head teachers want more faith schools. 64% of the public don’t want any state-funded religious schools because they discriminate against a large proportion of children. For example, 65% of teenagers are non-religious, and others have different religious beliefs. How can they feel included in a school that prioritises Christian beliefs?"

 

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

Poll
The non-religious should be represented on the Religious Education advisory council
 
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Comments
  • andrew@westsuss exhumanists.org.uk More...
    26.02.18 21:02
  • Thanks Belinda. Sorry for the delay. Comments have... More...
    26.02.18 20:59
  • The information about Guiding and Scouting not bei... More...
    26.01.18 22:35
  • :-) Should like to join you. I am a 60 year old (n... More...
    27.01.17 14:40
  • Hello my name Peter Murphy I represent Mourning Co... More...
    18.05.16 13:05
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