Horsham Humanists


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

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

We liase with Horsham District 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, manage stalls and displays, invite prominent speakers, and give talks to local organisations, including schools and colleges.

We meet once a month, upstairs in the Anchor Hotel, 3 Market Square,Horsham, RH12 1EU (tel: 01403 250 640).

Meetings are from 8pm on the second Monday of the month. There is a £3 entrance charge for each meeting (£2 for BHA members). Annual membership is also available.

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




Typical agenda:

  • Business from 7.45pm to 8pm
  • Introductions
  • Local activities
  • Local and national news
  • Issue for debate/speaker/other event
  • AOB
For more details, contact Sarah

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

Hadge talked of the importance of people being able to learn and choose their path, which echoed previous discussions held by members; the difference seemed to lie in whether faith was felt or not.

Hadge continued by explaining more about his own faith and the journey that he has taken to reach the place where he is now, making it clear that he expects this very personal process to continue as a journey rather than reach a conclusion. He explained that a simplistic way to explain God is to nominate the idea as a person, also that a thread of Christianity exists known as 'Progressive' whose members endeavour to avoid a gender basis such as 'He/Him' for their concept of God. He continued this thread with mention of Paul Tillich (German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian) and his explanations of 'ground of our being' as God.

Hadge continued to explain God as a creator of the Universe who came in person in Jesus, and that he feels he came to faith in a logical way in that there has to be a creator of the Universe."The more I learn about science the more I learn it's too much of a coincidence we are here at all"  and "Good has to come from somewhere"  and "I believe that my essence will not die, my mind or persona will continue". One member commented that these opinions appear to be common to many religions.

Hadge further explained that he came to his faith through fairly conservative means that indicated a welcome to Jesus was needed for acceptance by God, but that he had had to acknowledge that he didn't believe God would promise eternal life because he found no evidence that heaven was promised by Jesus.

The talk turned to discussion of what prayer is, with suggestion that there are various interpretations of the activity; for instance Buddhists consider it'mindfulness', Quakers 'centering'. Hadge considers that prayer can be wordless and for him it is about stillness rather than articulation. He stated that tangible evidence existed within hospitals of the benefit of prayer, but this was disputed by one of our members. Two visitors from a local Baptist church felt strongly that words were necessary in prayer and that it is a direct conversation with God which He then answers.

Hadge commented on the links between the various Abrahamic religions but this was doubted by our Baptist visitors, particularly regarding whether Muslims could be considered Abrahamic due to their lack of belief in the Son of God. The latter concluded that this was where Muslims were wrong.

The meeting gradually worked itself to a natural finish, and Hadge concluded by sharing his belief that over the next 100 to 200 years there will be a move toward faith being in dialogue with itself and hopefully people from all ideologies and philosophies will come together, and finished with the comment that either we will work it out or all kill each other.

Members chatting informally afterwards agreed that it had been an interesting and enjoyable evening with a welcome guest who spoke well, and that many aspects of humanism without the capital H had been evident in what Hadge had shared with us.


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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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