director of Public Affairs and Policy for “Humanists UK”
Richy Thompson came to give a talk to Cornwall Humanists at their monthly meeting on 18th September.
Richy described six areas of “Humanists UK” activity, to a well-attended meeting.
- Government Contacts – Speaking with central government in London, through contacts with civil servants and MPs. The all-party Humanist group of 100 MPs, led by Crispin Blunt, is very important.
- Research – publicising relevant research and undertaking new research when necessary.
- Campaigns – Encouraging members and supporters to advance campaigns for change, by writing to MPs, writing letters to newspapers, and organising protests.
- Media – Promoting the inclusion of a Humanist perspective in newspapers, television, and other public media.
- Legal – Challenging illegal practices, and supporting individuals who are going to court to fight injustice, such as the refusal of assisted dying.
- Advice – Helping people who are suffering from unfair discrimination in a faith school, or who are struggling with the imposition of Collective Worship.
What can we do in Cornwall?
Richy gave examples of what we could do locally, to advance Humanism.
We could attend the constituency surgery of our local MP to learn about their standpoint, and ask for their support in advancing Humanist ideals.
We can try to influence local decision making through our membership of SACRE, the body advising Cornwall Council on Religious Education.
We can make sure that our views are publicised in local newspapers, and heard on local radio and television.
The photograph above shows a group of friends of Peter and Barbara Edmead at their home near Nancegollan. The friends met on 26th August to wish Peter and Barbara well as they move to a smaller home near Weymouth. Peter has been a very active member of Cornwall Humanists and has worked regularly as a hospital volunteer. He visits people who are in hospital, to talk with them, adding to the religious pastoral service, for the growing number of people who do not hold a religious belief.
We hope that you both enjoy your new home, and do keep in touch!
Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy for Humanists UK will come to speak to the Cornwall Humanists Group on Tuesday 18th September.
The talk will be in the Fal Building of Truro College, starting at 7.30pm – everyone welcome!
Richy Thompson is Humanists UK’s Campaigns Manager and works on issues from across Humanists UK’s public policy remit. From May 2011 to February 2015 he was the Faith Schools and Education Campaigns Officer, and before that he was the President of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies. Richy is a member of the advisory group of the Sex Education Forum, on the steering groups of Voice for Choice, the Accord Coalition for inclusive education and the Fair Admissions Campaign, and a representative of Humanists UK at the Religious Education Council for England and Wales.
Read more about Richy Thompson
John Langford with Maggie Hebbon
Cornwall Humanists contributed to the food bank at the Methodist and Highertown Church, Truro, with items collected at their October meeting.
Peter Wright, a member of Cornwall Humanists,
will be holding an exhibition on 31st October.
For directions see the map below:
(Click images to enlarge)
On 3rd September 2015 the West Briton newspaper published an article entitled,
“Meet the Cornwall Humanists”
Photography student Chris Smith interviewed and photographed members of the Cornwall Humanists for a university project.
Read the full article on the West Briton website here, or without adverts, below the photographs on this page.
Meet the Cornwall Humanists Continue reading
John Langford added this to Cornwall Humanists’ Facebook page on 1st December.
In a landmark decision last week, a federal judge in Oregon declared ‘secular humanism’ to be a religion, opining that those who profess to be atheists and secular humanists should be afforded equal protection rights under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution and be allowed to enjoy the same liberties to practice religion that religious groups are able to enjoy.
Visit Cornwall Humanists on Facebook
REMEMBRANCE DAY – another perspective
This is the basis of an address I gave at a public meeting, hosted by the Penzance branch of the Society of Friends, at St John’s Hall, Penzance, on 11th November. It was severely cut back to fit into the five minutes allocated.
Before I start I must point out that I speak as a Humanist – not for Humanists.
And you will see I wear a red poppy out of respect for the past – a white poppy in of hope for the future.
In Australia, on the 25th April, they commemorate ANZAC day, The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps., suffered a tremendous loss of life in Gallipoli during the 1st WW. Eric Bogle, a Scotsman, who has spent most of his life in Australia, wrote a song called ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’. I challenge you to find it, listen to it, shed a tear, and reflect on the tragedy of war.
Tomorrow there will be a parade to the cenotaph. Men marching in uniform with all the pomp and ceremony they can muster. The atmosphere will be charged with ‘proud patriotism’. I find that inappropriate. Pride and Patriotism are two words that I have difficulty with. According to Aesop, I was brought up on Aesop, “Pride comes before a fall”. Continue reading