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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

RE syllabus heavily biased against the non-religious

ChichesterObserverJune2011

The following letter to the Editor was published in Mid Sussex Times on 3rd July 2011.  The article opposite appeared in the Chichester Observer before the meeting referred to in the letter.

EVERY FIVE years, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is legally obliged to review its local Religious Education (RE) syllabus for community schools. Today, members of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) met to discuss how to proceed towards the new syllabus in April, 2013.

As usual, I attended the meeting as an observer, unable to speak on behalf of the non-religious residents of West Sussex. WSCC has repeatedly refused to include a Humanist member of SACRE.

 
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
 

Haywards Heath meeting 14th April 2011

HaywardsHeatHumanistsApril2011

Our guest this month was former Haywards Heath resident Alan Palmer, active member of Central London Humanists (the largest group in the UK).

Alan was active in the United Reform church but became a Humanist after reading books like The God Delusion. In the last few years, he has built up the contact list of Central London Humanists to around 1000, with regular meetings of around 50 members from across London. He played a leading role in organising the Protest the Pope march and subsequently took part in several controversial debates with representatives of Opus Dei.

 

SACRE meeting 7th March 2011

The meeting was dominated by anticipation of the declining significance of SACRE in the coming years, and perhaps it's eventual demise.

Members began by considering the possible relationship between SACRE and the Youth Council (school student representatives across the county). Some other SACREs do this. It was suggested that they could be consulted on specific issues; but other members thought it best to send them the agendas of meetings so that the Youth Council could choose items of interest.

Religious Education (RE) advisor Nigel Bloodworth stated that, from April, West Sussex County Council will no longer be giving subject advice (inlcluding RE) to schools. This means that there will no longer be an RE advisor, though Nigel will continue working as an officer for SACRE.

 

BBC Sussex Interview 13th March 2011

Download

Gavin Ashenden interviewed Andrew Edmondson about the Census 2011 campaign, followed by Paul Bickley, senior researcher for the Christian think tank Theos. Download recording. This is a 36MB mp3 file.

 

2011 Census Campaign talk at Chichester University

BHA_UCSU_AHA (5 of 5)

Naomi Phillips, Head of Public Affairs for the British Humanist Association (BHA), gave a talk about the 2011 Census Campaign (see poster below) on Wednesday 23rd February at Chichester University.

This was the first public Humanist event to be held in West Sussex and was hosted by Chichester University's Atheist Humanist and Agnostic society (UCSU AHA) in association with Chichester Humanists.

 

Chichester Humanists 21st June 2011

AreWeHardWiredToBelieveInGod21stJune2011Website

Our first organised talk "Are We Hard-Wired to Believe in God?" by NHS Psychological Therapist Martyn Frame was a resounding success and paves the way for a program of regular talks.

Over 20 people attended. As usual, we began the meeting by introducing ourselves. And what an interesting, diverse bunch of people, each with their own story. Some were non-believers for as long as they could remember, others struggled to break free of their religious past.

 

Chichester Humanists meeting 17th May 2011

This lively meeting welcomed three new faces and a few locals who overheard our conversation.

Most of the meeting was spent discussing our personal histories and the reasons we are interested in a local Humanist group. Humanists come from all walks of life and have a reasoned approach to dealing with the issues of life, the universe and everything. This meeting demonstrated that debating ethical and other human issues is far from dull.

 

Crawley Inter Faith Network meeting 2nd April 2011

Crawley Inter Faith (CIFN) has had some serious setbacks since I last attended almost a year ago. Crawley Borough Council has not renewed its funding for their development worker because of a failure to submit a required report about the previous year's work. The Chair, Mohinder Galowia, Hindu representative, was responsible for the delivery of this report and has subsequently resigned his position. As far as I am aware, there is now no Hindu representative on CIFN.

I was welcomed to the meeting, as usual, and listened to the two speakers give accounts of their backgrounds and how they try to contribute to society (the theme for the evening).

 

Chichester Humanists Meeting 15th March 2011

We met at our new venue, the Chichester Inn, in our own bar room. There were quite a few apologies, so we gathered around the open fire for more of a chat.

It was suggested that we invite a local celebrant, known to some members, to give a talk. We are also awaiting a reply from the NUT regarding a speaker on "faith" schools and related matters.

 

Chichester Humanists meeting 16th February 2011

After discovering that our venue, The Waterside Inn, has closed down since our last meeting, we eventually relocated to The Vestry. Future meetings will be held at The Fountain Inn, 29 Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1ES.

We were introduced to six new members who all contributed interest to this relaxed meeting. One member described how his religious beliefs waned after studying philosophy at college. Other members described their isolation and rejection during childhood due to their atheism.

Several members described the dilemma of attending a Catholic church in order for their children to gain entry to the local Catholic school (the best in the area). Most members knew of similar experiences.

Some of the members are veteran Humanists, others are testing the water. What is vitalising are the varied viewpoints expressed. No dogmatic thinking here.

 

Horsham Humanists meeting 2nd February 2011

We welcomed an enthusiastic new member to the group. With each new member, the group is developing its identity.

We finalised the formalities of setting up the group and were informed that affiliation to the BHA is well underway. The extensive benefits of affiliation were discussed.

We looked at a preview of the new website www.HorshamHumanists.net which is about to go live. More features will be added when time allows.

 

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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