Having completed the Humanists UK accreditation training last year, OxHums member, Jan Skelton, was invited to talk on humanism at Didcot Girls’ School and did such a good job that the school requested another talk as part of their World Religions Day project on 8th February this year. Groups of around 30 pupils were sent out to review various religions, their beliefs, rituals and traditions, and the co-ordinator was thankfully keen to include the humanist worldview. Our initial concern was choice of venue – finding somewhere that allowed us to provide a presentation to such a large group in an environment which reflected our ethos.
To the Editor, The Oxford Times Sir I read with interest [in the 11/1/18 edition of The Oxford Times] your article headed “Sharp decline in church weddings across county over past five years”. I don’t happen to know how Oxfordshire compares to the rest of England but in comparison with Scotland [where Humanist Weddings were legalised as long ago as 2005], there are a couple of potentially significant differences. The major difference is that in Scotland the rapid decline in the number of church weddings began about 15 years ago – from being over 50 % until the 1990s – to a low today of
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 intellectual
I have always been attracted to religion. As a child attending a series of mostly C of E schools, I wanted to know God. Moses had his burning bush, the disciples had the feeding of the five thousand – of course they could believe in God. I actively looked for a sign It never came. In my student days I was still looking. I was soon picked up by the Christian Union people and taken to week-end retreats and prayed for. I attended a variety of the best churches that London had to offer. It just didn’t work for me. I am a rational person.
07 November 2015 My parents were ‘Anglo-Catholics’, this is the extreme ‘high church’ end of the Church of England spectrum. Naturally, as a young child, I believed everything my parents said; so followed their religion. However, I did start having doubts even before my teens; and never received satisfactory answers other than ‘God moves in mysterious ways’. I did question how people could become Christian before Jesus was born; and also realised I was only Christian because I happened to be born of Christian parents. If they were say Hindu, I’d be Hindu. Furthermore, all religions teach that all other religions are wrong; hence at
I became an atheist when I was about fourteen. My parents were both atheists, but I didn’t know that then, and was not brought up to be either an atheist, or religious. One of the attractive things about most of the atheists I have known is they don’t appear to feel a need to indoctrinate their children. They usually encourage them to think for themselves. My own parents tested my arguments by putting the opposite point of view, but never told me what to think. It was my job in life to decide what I thought. Lively discussion on a wide variety of subjects was
I am writing to thank you for your ongoing support for the Humanist Schools in Uganda. Establishing good schools is a long-term challenge, but we are making good progress and I want to give you an idea of where your money has been going during 2014. I attach a list of grants awarded and a small collection of photographs which I think indicate that development is proceeding apace. As a result of the funds being provided by our supporters: Scholarships have been allocated to 129 bright children from the poorest backgrounds to enable them to attend the schools. A new development in 2014 has been