Chichester Humanists is a local branch of West Sussex Humanists and represents the interests of the non-religious residents in and around Chichester.

Each month we discuss issues concerning religion and belief, ethics, equality, human rights and science, including current events.

We liase with Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council on matters concerning equality of religion and belief, and monitor Council activities, including proposals for new "faith" schools.

We are keen to campaign on behalf of non-religious residents who feel disadvantaged because of their beliefs, e.g. access to a community school, discrimination at work or through the delivery of local services.

We organise events and displays, invite prominent speakers, and give talks to local organisations, including schools and colleges.

We meet once a month in Muchos Nachos140 Whyke Rd, Chichester PO19 8HT (tel: 01243 785 009)

Meetings are from 7.30pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Instead of membership subscriptions, there is a £3 entrance charge for meetings with speakers (usual concessions).

If you would like to meet some local freethinkers and have a chat, please come along and join us at the next meeting. Look out for the poster above.

For more details, email Julian.

Being freethinkers there are many things secular humanists will not agree on, but there are some matters on which we do take a firm and unanimous stand. We do not condone prejudice of any sort. Nor do we hate religious people. Such views are entirely contrary to any humanist philosophy and we reserve the right to exclude any person promoting them.

Chichester Humanists meeting 19th January 2011

Our inaugural meeting of Chichester Humanists began with interesting introductions from the 10 Humanists present.

Two representatives of the Chichester University Atheist, Humanist and Agnostic society (UCSU AHA) were present and gave an account of the activities of their new group, which was formed in response to a strong Christian influence felt within the university. They have 56 members at present.

They meet every two weeks and debate an issue; upcoming topics include What constitutes a "Just" war?, Morality and religion with reference to woman's choice to terminate?, Witchcraft and the Witch Trials, Does religion make us unhappy? More details can be found on their Facebook page; just search for UCSU AHA.

Chichester Humanists is now a registered association in West Sussex County Council. We briefly considered a draft constitution. Members will give feedback via email and will sign it at the next meeting. We will also nominate several executive roles. A bank account will be created too. We will be applying for local funding to pay for speakers and other running costs.

We considered how to support the Census 2011 campaign in Chichester. We agreed to write letters and submit articles to the local press about this interesting issue that affects all of us. Members agreed to put up posters too. We will try to arrange an event to publicise the campaign and discuss the issues involved.

Chichester is the seat of West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and is where the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) usually meets. SACRE, an unelected body, advises WSCC on matters of religious education in West Sussex but has barred Humanist membership for over 4 years. Members were informed that an email has been sent to the new Chief Executive, Kieran Stigent, inviting him to look into this matter.

The West Sussex Youth Cabinet were also discussed. They have invited a Humanist speaker to their next meeting at County Hall, Chichester, to discuss the daily act of worship in schools. SACRE has plans to invite members of the Youth Cabinet to their meetings.

During this informal meeting we briefly discussed a range of other issues as they arose.

I am optimistic that this friendly, vibrant group will grow rapidly and present Chichester with a new voice to be heard and a new place to meet.





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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.

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