Talk by Professor Anthony Grayling

January 31, 2009

As part of Charles Darwin’s bicentenary celebrations, Prof. A C Grayling will give a talk on “Darwin & the Darwinian Controversy”. The talk will address the controversy surrounding Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and will be followed by a general discussion of Darwin’s life and works.

Date: Wed 4th Feb 2009
Time: Buffet 5pm, Talk 6:30pm
Price: £5 (Buffet £9 extra)
Venue: The Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury.

Please note that if you arrive early in Shrewsbury tea & coffee will be available at The Morris Hall from 2pm. There will also be a guided tour of the Darwin sites if the weather permits.

More information about the event.

Other events in the Darwin Festival
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This event is organised by Shropshire Humanists, South Cheshire & North Staffordshire Humanists, Chester Humanists, Greater Manchester Humanists & The Marches Secularists.

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October meeting – Ludlow

October 2, 2008

Denis Corbell, former president of the National Secular Society, will be speaking. Not to be missed! Invite your family and friends.

Tuesday, October 7th, at the Assembly Rooms, Ludlow (click for a map). Starting at 19:30.

Click here for more information on the Assembly Rooms’ website.

This is a joint event with Ludlow‘s and Shrewsbury’s Humanists.

September 2008 Meeting

September 8, 2008

Saturday 13 September – Summer Social Event for Secularists, Potential secularists, Humanists, friends and family – children welcome

The weather might not have been that good this summer, but spending time in good company is as good as ever.

This is an opportunity for everyone to meet each other in an outstanding setting without a fixed agenda.
Lunch provided (barbeque if fine, eating inside otherwise); discount if you bring something to eat and drink to share with others.

This year’s summer social event is to take place in the glorious natural surroundings of The Pales, a historic Quaker meeting house. Address: The Pales, near Llandegley, Powys LD1 5UH (click the link for a Google map). Turn North off the A44 at the West end of Llandegley, following the brown road signs for The Pales. The Pales is round a sharp left-hand bend near the top of the hill, about a mile off the main road (Note: if you’re following the Google map, it’s to the left of the marker indicated on the map, which shows the centre of the postcode rather than the actual location of The Pales – the OS map shows the Pales’ location more accurately).

10:30 to 14:00 including a barbecue lunch. If we have fine weather, an afternoon trip to Llandrindod Lake or the Elan Valley might be nice.

Please bring £3-50 if eating or £1 for drinks only; please let us know of any specific dietary requirements. If you’re bringing food and/or drink, please arrive at about 10.00 to help set up.

Open to members, potential members, and fellow humanists.
This is an opportunity to meet and chat in an informal setting, not only with active secularists, but with families and friends of all ages (bring as many as you can).

August 2008 Meeting

August 15, 2008

Saturday 16 August – Morning & Munch

To be held at Darwin’s ChurchUnitarian Church, High Street, Shrewsbury. Car park on Wyle Cop.

Subjects for discussion will include the new Faith Schools in Shropshire, and the planning of the joint event for the Darwin Festival with Humanist Groups from the wider region.

Starting at 10:30 with welcome drinks and ending with lunch.

Lunch is expected to be home made cottage pie made from local Shropshire beef and potatoes. Let chairman know of any specific dietary requirements.

Please bring £3-50 if eating or £1 for drinks only.

Open to members and potential members (bring your secular minded friends).

The flower festival will be on that same day, so participants will be be able stroll down to the ‘quarry’ park after lunch and have a gander, or go shopping.

July 2008 Meeting

June 14, 2008

Our July meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 8th in:

The Back Lounge of The Chequers public house, Etnam Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8AE (The pub’s telephone number is 01568 612473). We will be starting at the usual time: 7:45 for 8:00pm.

As usual, you can click on the venue’s name for a map of its location.

Press Release: Six new faith schools for Shropshire

May 20, 2008

On Monday 19 May the Shropshire County Council Cabinet decided to proceed with their plan to create six new faith schools. Each of these primary schools will take pupils from closing two existing schools.

The Church of England advocates closing fully inclusive Community Schools in order to create their new faith schools. The only merger the CofE object to is the one where both original schools are already under their control.

A report by the Centre for the Economics of Education, based at the London School of Economics takes a look at the myths in favour of Church schools. When all factors are fully considered, they concluded “there is no difference between expected attainment in Faith Primary schools and expected attainment in any other school type (and possibly even a negative impact from Church of England Schools)”.

The Council’s proposals now go to consultation for six weeks.

Marches Secularists, the only public watchdog on religion in the area, wants to hear from parents and others who are concerned about this wholesale takeover of schools by the Church. Chairman@MarchesSecularists.org www.MarchesSecularists.org.

May 2008 Meeting

May 5, 2008

Our May meeting will be held on Saturday, May 10th 2008 at:

The Quaker Meeting House, Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells.

The Meeting House where we will be holding our meeting is actually situated behind the old Friends Meeting House which is a large red brick building, very visible on the A483 opposite Aldi’s supermarket, near the centre of Llandrindod Wells. You can get to our meeting venue through a gate and path to the left of the old building. On road free parking is available.

The meeting is scheduled to commence at 10.45am. but please aim to arrive by 10.30am when Tea/Coffee will be available.

In addition to the availability of tea and coffee, lunchtime food  items (i.e. jacket potatoes and a choice of fillings) will be provided by our Chairman. By way of payment for the cost of hire of the venue and for lunch and hot drinks we are asking members to pay £3.50 per head.

Following end of meeting (we have use of the venue until 14.00 hours) you may wish to do some sightseeing and/or shopping in Llandrindod Wells bfore you head off back home.

We hope that you will be able to attend and look forward to meeting you in Llandrindod Wells.

Press Release: Politics and religion cannot mix

April 25, 2008

An open meeting of the Marches Secularists was held at the Checkers Inn in Montgomery on Tues 22nd April.

Mirian Walton and Alan Goater gave a talk about their experience of living in Palestine. Both speakers were aware of how the Palestinian/ Israeli question impacts on our lives today. They had visited Palestine recently, living for several months amongst Palestinians in the West Bank.

The most important points that the speakers raised were those of the difficulty for the Palestinians of living under Israeli control. In theory there should be land for the Palestinians and land for the Israelis. Land for Palestinians is shrinking each year as Israeli settlements on Palestinian land grow apace. Will the Palestinians eventually be forced out of their land because of the political and social conditions imposed on them – the wall, the checkpoints, the restrictions on exports?

This question is of importance to all of us, yet who is aware of the history and political background? The Israeli/Palestinian problem is seen by many as a simple religious division between two groups of people. This is not the case. It is a case of conflict growing up under religious hatred. It is a radicalising sore for many people.

The Marches Secularists are part of a nationwide secular movement that wishes to raise public consciousness of the inappropriate influence of religion in state institutions. The group believes that in a democratic society all people should be free to choose their own beliefs, free from the prejudice and intolerance of others.

For further information visit our website: www.MarchesSecularists.org. The group meets monthly in towns across the Marches area, and members can receive weekly news from the National Secular Society.

March 2008 Meeting

March 17, 2008

Our March meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 25th in:

The Dining Room, The Royal Oak Inn, 24 Church St, Kington, Herefordshire, HR5 3BE Starting at the usual time: 7:45 for 8:00pm.

February meeting

February 10, 2008

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, February 14th in:

the Right Hand Bar, The Severn Apprentice, Cotton Hill/Ellesmere Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 2DP, starting at the usual time: 7:45 for 8:00pm.  Free-form discussion and socialising.