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.

Astrology talk by Afifah Hamilton at Chichester Humanists 16th May 2016

Afifah Hamilton is a biologist who works with genetic coding. She is also a practitioner of complementary, including herbalism and nutrition, and has a passionate interest in astrology. She described astrology as an ancient language and showed us how the familiar symbols of the planets were arrived at, as well as the characteristics of the planets.

Using various diagrams, we could see the sun at the centre, surrounded by the planets, which in turn are surrounded by the star signs of the zodiac.  This forms the basis of the astrological chart for any given point in time. Afifah showed us the chart for the time of this talk and used it to explain the current turmoil the world is going through.

She interspersed this detailed account with interesting stories and images from the past, going back as far as 38 000 years ago. Many of the great thinkers of the past were also astrologists. Accurate knowledge of the positions of the planets and stars was important for navigation and astrology. [Copernicus, who discovered that the Earth revolves about the Sun, would have also studied astrology as part of his medical training.]

Afifah included stories about Ptolemy and Nostradamus, both astrologers. She showed an admiration for the incredible abilities of the ancient polymaths.

During her talk, Afifah explained how she used astrology as a focus for counselling her clients, though she declared that she did not belief in astrology. This confused some attendees who raised this apparent contradiction during the Q&A session. She also said that all of the charts she has created have proved to be most accurate.

Q: Has there been any research suporting the claims of astrologers?
A: No because astrology cannot be tested in this way. It is too personal.

Q: Do astrologers vary in their chart readings?
A: Yes, although the mechanics of astrology is accepted by all astrologers.

Q: What is the supposed mechanism by which the stars and planets affect people? Is it gravity, some kind of radiation?
A: I don't know.

Afifah recommended that we listen to the BBC In Our Time podcast Renaissance Astrology.

We thanked Afifah for giving us a most interesting insight into the world of astrology.


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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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