Category: Diary

Damn atheists!

Thanks to Ariane Sherine, for posting the URL on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, let us know – we might follow you.

Religion or Belief conference report

The BHA received grant funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission for a project which aims to increase understanding of the ‘religion or belief’ equality ‘strand’. As part of this, the third in a series of conferences was held in Birmingham on 22nd January this year. We’ve previously posted a report from the Daily Mail, which misrepresented the purpose of this work.


With her permission, here is a report on the conference from Alison Rawlinson from Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists, which was published in their newsletter. Alison attended the conference with her husband Mark.

Science and a “spiritual dimension”?

The BBC’s online magazine asks “What do you get if you divide science by God?”, which is possibly one of the daftest questions imaginable. In an article about “the meaning of physics”, Mark Vernon reports:

The Templeton Prize, awarded for contributions to “affirming life’s spiritual dimension”, has been won by French physicist Bernard d’Espagnat, who has worked on quantum physics with some of the most famous names in modern science.

Community Network conference calls

Community NetworkOur committee “meets” over the phone. The group is widely scattered over a rural area, so having committee meetings face to face, when committee members are all busy people with family commitments, is often inconvenient. The prospect of having to drive long distances, especially in the winter, can put prospective committee members off volunteering. It’s not very environmentally-friendly to drive when you don’t have to, and petrol isn’t cheap.

For the past few years we’ve held most committee meetings by telephone conference call, arranged through Community Network, a charity based in London that provides tele-conferences for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

Humanist ceremonies – what are they like?

If you’ve heard a lot about Humanist ceremonies and would like to know more, come and hear about our religion-free baby-namings, weddings (for heterosexual and homosexual couples), and funerals. Plenty of time for questions.

Policing the Suffolk Community

Lloyd Stewart is a long serving Detective Constable with Suffolk Constabulary and is the Chairman of the Suffolk BPA (Black Police Association). Lloyd knows about the issues that face our community and our police in terms of race and diversity issues. He hopes to talk to the group about his experiences and about the challenges that face Suffolk Constabulary in dealing with an increasingly diverse community and the pressure of meeting government targets.

We’ll be in our usual venue – the lounge at Pinewood Community Hall, Ipswich.

Group meeting – 10-Minute Topics

A popular format that allows you to spend ten minutes talking about something that interests, annoys, or pleases you. It might be something you’ve read about in a newspaper, or an injustice you care about — it’s up to you.

We’ll be in the lounge at Pinewood Community Hall, Ipswich.

An introduction to the Cosmos

Our member Tom Boles will boggle our minds with a talk about astronomy, referring to photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope. Come prepared to be awed.

We’ll be in the lounge at the Pinewood Community Hall – see map. You’ll find directions with the notice of the May meeting in the calendar.

Teaching the new RE syllabus in a Suffolk primary school

The new RE syllabus for Suffolk schools was introduced in September 2007. It includes Humanism and secular world views. The idea is that children should learn about religion and its alternatives, not to be religious, though the many church schools in the county do things differently. We’ll be visited by a teacher from a local county primary school, who’ll tell us about her approach.

I visited this school a couple of years ago to do an assembly and talk to the older children afterwards. They were very lively and open-minded.