Two months ago we launched a building appeal, marking the 10th Anniversary of Uganda Humanist Schools Trust, with the aim of raising £150,000 to complete the infrastructure of the two Humanist High Schools we support, Isaac Newton and Mustard Seed Schools. (See UHST appeal leaflet http://oxfordhumanists.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Leaflet2018-2.pdf, here). The money will be used to build Library & Information Centres, Multi-purpose School Halls, Boarding Hostels and Science Laboratories. These facilities are needed to cope with the growing numbers of students being attracted by the high educational and welfare standards in the Humanist Schools. For many years the schools struggled with fewer than 100 students, but they areRead More →

John and his wife Viv had been active humanists since university days so it wasn’t surprising that they joined Oxford Humanists in 2004 when they moved into the area. I joined about that time too and I remember being disappointed to find it was such a small group. Then in 2006 John was elected to the Chair and things began to change. .Our membership and the attendance at meetings grew, largely through John’s assiduous use of email to keep in touch. At the same time, he gave unstinting support to the student Atheist, Secularist and Humanist organisations which were active in Oxford’s two universities forRead More →

Our long term member, Paul Surman has produced a new book of poetry, which I am sure we will all enjoy and value. See review below. Places ( ISBN 78-1-906856-79-3) Pat Winslow said of this collection: “These are not just poems of place, they are about our relationship with the natural world; human purpose and design co-exist with something deeper and more elemental in this collection. Surman writes with an acute ear. He is detailed and exact and he has a knack of catching precise moments in an unforgettable way. He is the ‘observer unobserved’ investigating borderlands where change is incremental and sometimes reversible: ‘I welcome ruin:Read More →

Our monthly OxHums talk on Friday 18th May, was a very interesting presentation by Professor Danny Dorling on ‘Oxford in 2050’ where he gave us his thoughts and ideas for future developments for our area. Three of our members have sent in their synopsis of the talk: “What a unique perspective on Oxford. To be brought up in the city, to leave it and then to come back many years later and see the city through the eyes of a geographer. And sadly the verdict did not seem to be a positive one. Relative to other cities Oxford seems to have ‘fossilised’ in recent years;Read More →

By now you’ll have heard that Theresa May has appointed Damian Hinds as her new Education Secretary, replacing Justine Greening and putting the PM’s plans to allow 100% religious segregation in English schools firmly back on the table. We successfully convinced Justine Greening to keep these plans at bay and also won ground on issues like mandatory Relationships and Sex Education, including in faith schools. But the appointment of Damian Hinds, a staunch supporter of religious discrimination in schools (who previously took funding from the Catholic Church), threatens to usher in a whole new era of ultra-discriminatory faith schools. Please, will you join today and helpRead More →

We must all renew our commitment to a fairer, more secular Britain. In these times of uncertainty, we humanists must put our values into practice. Following on from the historic vote on 23rd June, much about the future of the UK and of Europe is, for better or worse, profoundly uncertain. As a non-partisan, charitable organisation, we did not take a side in the EU referendum, apart from encouraging a more democratic debate from all quarters. In that same enthusiastically democratic spirit, it falls to us to ensure that as humanists we play a critical role in steering this country through the difficult moral and intellectualRead More →

The  Oxford University student newspaper, Cherwell, asked us  to comment on the recent tweet from the Church of England, saying  it was ‘praying for Richard Dawkins and his family’ after Dawkins’ recent stroke, and whether we agreed with allegations that it was opportunistic/disrespectful to Dawkins. Our response was as follows, made by David Lahee, in his capacity as Dialogue Officer for the Oxford Humanists: “In the absence of any concrete evidence to the contrary, we assume that the call for prayers for Richard Dawkins is made out of genuine concern and for no other reason. Naturally we do not expect such prayers to have anyRead More →