We’ve been affiliated to the Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource (SIFRE) since its inception in 1991, at about the same time that our group was founded. Among other things, it’s allowed us to contribute to educational activities in the county, in schools and other statutory and voluntary bodies, including local government. An off-shoot of SIFRE became the East of England Faiths Agency, which provides speakers for all of these organisations, and members...
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There’s been a Suffolk Humanist on Suffolk County Council’s SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) for years – John Aldam, who was a member of the BHA’s Education Committee before we founded our group, was a SACRE member. When he wanted to quit, Margaret Nelson was co-opted in his place. She contributed to the development of the new Suffolk Religious Education syllabus that was introduced in September 2007. It...
There is no humanist creed, no set of beliefs to which every humanist has to subscribe. Humanism is not a dogma or a sect…as human beings we can find from our own resources the shared moral values which we need in order to live together, and the means to create meaningful and fulfilling lives for ourselves.
A presentation by Margaret Nelson, founder of Suffolk Humanists & Secularists. This may be of particular interest to newer members. How and why did Humanism develop in Britain from the 19th century? Who was involved? Where do we go from here?
Following on from the film about the history of freethought in Europe shown at a previous meeting, a presentation about the history of the development of Humanism in the UK and in Suffolk, followed by a discussion about where we go next.
An introduction to Humanism for kids (and anyone else who’s interested).
How did it all begin? Where did we come from?
If secular humanism had a house band it would be Oklahoma’s Flaming Lips. Having begun life in the mid-80s as lysergic slackers, the Lips have evolved into a kaleidoscopic outfit in which the forces of good and evil thrash it out nightly. Warm fuzziness and faith in human decency triumph most of the time. Their best-known epiphany, “Do You Realize?”, watches the planet hurtling through space before skewering fans with the knowledge that everyone they know, someday, will die.
Do you realise?
The OCR exam board planned to become the first to include the subject alongside six major religions in its draft GCSE syllabus. But its proposal was rejected by Ofqual, the exams regulator, which ruled that humanism was a “body of belief” and not a religion. The British Humanist Association (BHA) described the decision as a “kick in the teeth” and is seeking a judicial review.
Humanist weddings, and other ceremonies, are unusual in that they provide a like-for-like replacement for what religions offer. Since people will always want to mark significant events in life in a shared, public way, once humanist weddings were made legal in Scotland it was inevitable that those who held broadly humanist views would take them up. But I do not expect humanism as a mass movement to gain much from this.