Ipswich meeting – Pepper Harow from the BHA
The BHA says,
The Local Development Project exists because the BHA believes that there is a lack of representation in some areas for humanists and non-religious people. Our experience shows that local authorities communicate with their citizens about diversity, equalities and social cohesion via a complex web of forums, networks and consultations. These feed into higher level organisations eventually reaching national bodies.
At a local level, the non-religious are often left out of this dialogue because of a lack of organised and recognised mechanisms of communication and a lack of resources. In many cases local authorities do not even consider including humanists and non-religious people as they are not considered to have any distinct needs as a group; unlike ethnic minorities or the religious.
However, this leads to a gap in knowledge about humanism at local level and exclusion of humanists and non-religious people from decision making bodies. It can also lead to a lot of support for interfaith work which helps to add to cohesion between faiths but does not add to dialogue between the religious and the non-religious.
Some secularists have reservations about volunteering to get involved with quangos like Local Strategic Partnerships (the Suffolk LSP offers a role for one person to represent all religious organisations) on the same basis as religious representatives, as we feel this isn’t consistent with the principle of secularism. How do you feel?
We’ll be in The Hall (turn left in the entrance lobby, then right and up a couple of steps) at Castle Hill Community Centre, Highfield Road, Ipswich. If the front door is shut, press the buzzer to be admitted.
To offer or request a lift, email us.