|LSS meetings at Secular Hall||members only||Joint meetings||Film shows|
Note: the series of eight Humanist - Christian Dialogues, are on Mondays at 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road, except for the one on 22nd January which is at Secular Hall. This is a joint project between Leicester Secular Society and the Leicester branch of Christians Aware.
Sunday 14 January 6:30pm. Anniversary Martial Arts Display and talk by Dave Wilkinson and members of Leicester Karate Club. This is the 60th year of the existence of the Leicester School of Martial Arts in the Cellar Room at Secular Hall. In fact it is one of the oldest Karate Schools in Britain, and very significant part of the heritage of the hall! Come and find out what they do! This meeting will be in the upstairs hall. [MG]
Monday 15 January 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 1: Secularism and Humanism - What Are they? by Allan Hayes. [AH]
Sunday 21 January 6:30pm. Richard Johnson on Gramsci, Marxism and Religion. Richard Johnson is brilliant at making hard sounding topics understandable. Richard, a retired professor, is effective lecturing to school students and adults alike. Gramsci has influenced our thinking about the nature of our world far more than we know; come and find out how and why. [MG]
Monday 22 January 7:30pm at Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 2: Education - Integrating Religious Education, with Video. [AH]
Sunday 28 January 6:30pm. A Secular Burns Night Celebration. This will include real Haggis, Neaps and Tatties and Sherry Trifle with a drop to cheer you up. There will be recitations of Burns poems, bagpipes and musicians. YOU MUST BOOK IN ADVANCE as places are limited. Phone 210 9027 or see the vice president at meetings. LSS MEMBERS FREE. OTHERS £7.50. A vegetarian option will be available but must be requested at time of booking. [MG]
Monday 29 January 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 3: Radical Christianity - The Sea of Faith by David Paterson. [AH]
Sunday 4 February 6:30pm. Ceri Dingle or Viv Regan: Damned by Debt Relief. DVD and talk from WorldWrite a development education group which critically examines the real effect of what the 2005 jamboree about debt relief has really done for people in highly indebted poor countries. Just what were the effects of the G8 meeting on debt at Gleneagles in 2005? [MG]
Monday 5 February 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 4: Women's Rights - Caring for Others Speakers Eleanor Davidson and Wilfred Gaunt. [AH]
Tuesday 6 February at 7:30 pm.. Dr Humberto Rios Labrada: Agriculture and Ecology in Cuba. Jointly hosted by Cuba Solidarity Campaign and Leicester Secular Society. Dr Labrada is very well known for pioneering participatory methods and agro-ecological techniques in Cuba following the end of importation of agricultural chemicals from Russia in the 1990's. Dr Labrada also writes and performs songs on agricultural and rural themes! Dr Labrada has been instrumental in leading Cuba towards a more sustainable and localised agriculture. This has resulted in a reduction in the demand for imported foodstuffs. He will talk about innovations in organic agriculture, plant breeding programmes and peoples' participation. Dr Labrada will talk about this vital work. We hope he will sing about it as well. [MG]
Sunday 11 February 6:30pm. Mario Minichiello Art and Conflict a talk with illustrations. Mario is well known for his pictures from the front, for his cartoons in such papers as the Guardian and his work in a number of capacities for television, such as when printing actual photos is not allowed. He is also a lecturer at Loughborough University. We will learn what a war artist is and how they do it - and much else besides. [MG]
Sunday 18 February 6:30pm. Maryam Namazie: Secularism and Humanism are not Religions or Belief Systems. Maryam discusses the dangers of regarding secularism and humanism as forms of religion, belief or dogma, and how it can prevent people from challenging religion. Maryam, secularist of the year 2005, was indisposed and could not give her talk in November. Let's give her a hearty welcome this evening. [MG]
Monday 19 February at 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 5: Science and Religion Speaker Allan Hayes. [AH]
Thursday 22 February at 7:30pm. Laurie Taylor: The Death of Public Life?. He says: "I want to talk about the decline of traditional forms of sociability and the possibility of new forms emerging. It's something that I think is very relevant to the development of a genuinely secular society. But it won't be quite as ponderous as that sounds!" (See also his articles in New Humanist. [AH]
Sunday 25 February 6:30pm. Sir Peter Soulsby MP: The Role and Effectiveness of the Backbench Labour MP. Peter started as a teacher in Leicester in about 1970, but has been involved in Leicester Council over many years. He is now, of course, one of Leicester's representatives at Westminster. What do these people do with their time down in the capital? Come and hear our MP tell you himself. [MG]
Monday 26 February at 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 6: The State and Religion Speakers Chris Williams and Simon Barrow of Ekklesia. [AH]
Sunday 4 March 6:30pm. John Florance: Why Bother with Wagner?. The genial and popular anchor man from Radio Leicester, and frequent newspaper columnist, is not just a jingle spinner between the chat. He is deeply involved in music and a member of The Wagner Society. With the help of CDs and DVDs he will make this mega-powerful music come alive and meaningful. [MG]
Monday 5 March at 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 7: Frank airing of differences. An open discussion. [AH]
Sunday 11 March 6:30pm. Sonia Grossner A Composer Between Two Worlds. Sonia was born in England and studied in East Germany. She is one of those artists who composes music because, like many composers, she has to. A pupil of Gavin Bryars she tells of her struggle to gain acceptance and performances of her works. She will illustrate with excerpts from CDs of them. [MG]
Monday 12 March at 7:30pm at Christchurch, Clarendon Park Road: Christian - Humanist Dialogue 8: The future - common ground and co-operation. An open discussion. [AH]
Sunday 18 March 6:30pm. Alcoholics Anonymous - details to be arranged. The organisers of this group will explain their methods. This is in response to a resolution proposed at the AGM which questioned whether the methods were appropriate for a tenant of the Society. [MG]
Sunday 25 March 6:30pm. The Half-Annual General Meeting of Leicester Secular Society. This is for Members and intending members only. Cheese and Wine will be available. Motions should be submitted by placing a copy on the notice-board in the hall, or by leaving a copy with the bookshop, or by giving a copy direct to an officer of the Society at least two weeks beforehand. Occasionally emergency motions may be discussed at discretion of the President. [MG]
Wednesday 28 March 7:30pm. Maurizio Atzeni Workers Control in Factories. Maurizio, who works at De Montfort University, has undertaken a great deal of first hand research into worker/boss relations: especially in car factories in Argentina, where he looked at what drives workers to take strike action. [MG]
Thursday 19 April 7:30pm. IDEAS Group meeting. George Jelliss will introduce a debate on the topic "We Should Be Beastly to Believers", because moderate religion provides the ground in which more extreme forms grow and gain support.
Sunday 22 April 7:00pm. David Payne More of David's Good Drinking Wines. Last year David Payne, secretary of The Grand Union Wine Society, came to us with a selection of his favourite tipples. It was such a good evening we've asked him back You must. 'Phone Michael on 0116 210 9027 to reserve your place, or e-mail michaelfrancisgerard @ hotmail.com - or leave a message at the Society - so we get the right number of bottles and glasses. Members free - others £10.00. Numbers limited to 30. He won't dare bring Lachrimae Christi, will he? [MG]
Sunday 29 April 6:30pm. Lyn Hurst The Spanish Civil War Commemorated. 2006 was the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It was a confrontation between the forces of Fascism and Republicanism. General Franco's fascists, supported by Germany and Italy won the war and World War ll was the result. Thousands from around the world flocked to the republicans, joining the International Brigades. Every year a dwindling number of 'Brigaders' and a growing band of supporters commemorate the war, both in Spain and in their own countries. Our President went to Spain for the seventieth anniversary and tells us what he found. [MG]
Monday 30 April, 7:30pm. Dave Hall The Dilemma of a University. Dave Hall was appointed Registrar of Leicester University in 2006, his thought-provoking and inspiring introductory address to staff may be read here. He describes his talk as "a university manager's view of how the idea of a university can survive the challenges of the market, on one hand, and the resurgence of faith on the other". [AH]
Sunday 6 May 6:30pm. Yvan Tardy The Situationist International. What is it? Yvan Tardy has been making a close study of this political group for years. Were they just an off-the-wall group of dafties, or had they invented a serious, but entertaining way to challenge capitalist and authoritarian ways of running society? Come and find out. [MG]
Thursday 10 May 7:30pm. Rose Panamudipo Action for Refugees. Rose Panamudipo is a qualified lawyer, originally from the Congo. She has lived in this country for several years and works with Refugee Action in Leicester, running training courses and coordinating a mentoring project in which volunteers help and befriend individual refugees. She will be able to tell us about asylum seekers and the difficulties they face. [AH]
Sunday 13 May 6:30pm. Ross Longhurst The Death of Marxism. Ross Longhurst again brings his sights to bear on a sacred cow of political thought. There will be those who disagree with him wholeheartedly. This should make for a lively evening. Ross is well known for his deeply thought-provoking talks to the Society. [MG]
Thursday 17 May 7:30pm. IDEAS Group meeting. Topic to be decided at the April meeting. Possible topics suggested are: John Cook on Education, Simon Perry on Capitalism, Lyn Hurst on Relativism, among others.
Sunday 20 May 6:30pm. Mark Webber NATO - Where is it coming from? Where is it? And where is it going? Mark Webber is a lecturer and researcher from Loughborough University, and is better able than most to shed light on this gun toting organisation to which we are all tied, whether we like it or not. [MG]
Thursday 24 May 7:30pm. David Johnson Slavery - the local connection, and local opposition to it. David Johnson, former history lecturer at Leicester University has written and lectured extensively on this shameful area of our history. This is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain (but not of slavery itself). What did landlocked Leicester have to do with it? [AH]
Sunday 27 May NO MEETING (information advised 22 May).
The Palestine Film Series. Steve Bonham presents a selection of films about, or relating to, the current situation in Palestine. In recognition of the visit by Children from Bethlehem at the end of June, the first two (12th and 26th June) relate to the plight of young people in Palestine.
Friday 1 June 7:30pm. Louise Wells Action on Homelessness. Louise Wells works for Leicestershire Cares, an initiative of Business in the Community. She is the coordinator of a programme, "Business Action on Homelessness", which is just starting up in Leicestershire, having been operating since 1998 in a number of other cities, with the aim of helping homeless people to get back into work. [AH]]
Sunday 3 June 6:30pm. NO MEETING (information advised 27 May).
Thursday 7 June 7:30pm. Allan Hayes Faith Schools. One third of our state schools are paid for out of taxes but controlled by and in the interests of the Church of England or the Catholic Church. The number of these "faith schools" is increasing and other faiths are demanding the same privileges. Allan Hayes, who was prominent in the successful campaign against a second CofE academy in Leicester, will review the situation and what can be done. [AH]
Sunday 10 June 6:30pm. Adam Newman-Turner Mobility and Moving Populations - Cultural Benefit or Social Chaos? In this talk Adam will look at the issues raised by an increasingly mobile global work force and raise questions as to the educational and cultural implications. Adam is Deputy Head at Rushey Mead School, and Educational Consultant on Global Citizenship. [MG]
Tuesday 12 June 7:30pm. Palestine Film Series: Gaza Strip. The director of this film planned a visit to Gaza of two weeks to film a documentary - he stayed three months and filmed 75 hours of film. "Gaza Strip is an extraordinary and painful journey into the lives of ordinary Palestinians struggling with the day-to-day trials of the Israeli occupation." [MG]
Sunday 17 June 6:30pm. Michael Gerard and Caroline Moles Visiting Palestine. These Secular Society members visited Palestine in April in the company of Claire Wintram, who talked to the society about her experiences last year. Is life really so bad for the Palestinians? This is their report back to the Society. [MG]
Sunday 24 June 6:30pm. HEADSTRONG MEETING. We will discuss issues raised by those attending. The exhibition and talk by New Newitt has been postposed until the Autuumn, in connection with our Open Day. (Information advised 17 June).
Tuesday 26 June 7:30pm. Palestine Film Series: The children of Ibdaa: To Create Something Out of Nothing. This is about the lives of several adolescents in a Palestinian children's dance troupe in the west Bank. They use their performance to express the history, struggle and aspirations of the Palestinian people, specifically the right to return to their homeland. The video offers insight into their families displacement from villages in historical Palestine to the emotionally and distressful aspects of life in a refugee camp. [MG]
Thursday 26 July 7:30pm. Don Cupitt The Meaning of the West: Secular versus Religious Interpretations. Don Cupitt became nationally known for his three BBC television projects Open to Question (1973), Who was Jesus? (1977), and The Sea of Faith (1984). The latter and the accompanying book of the same name gave rise to a wide questioning of the nature of religion and to the setting up of the Sea of Faith Network (national conference in Leicester, 24-26 July 2007). He writes about his coming talk: "There is currently much controversy, in the European Union and elsewhere, about what 'Western Culture' is, and what makes it the most powerful and dynamic cultural tradition that has yet appeared amongst human beings". He will tell us about his theory, now being worked out in a new book. [AH]
Sunday 19th August 6:30pm Special General Meeting to formally approve the transition of the Society to a company limited by guarantee.
From Wednesday 5th September - Exhibition of Photographs and items of interest about the history of the Secular Society. This has been organised by noted local historian Ned Newitt and features many items from his researches in the Records Office. Opening times will be posted on the Society's website and on the door of the Secular Hall.
Saturday 1 September Watermead Park, Guided Nature Ramble, followed by a Social. There are limited places for the ramble so please book early. Ring Eleanor on 0116 292 1964.
Guided Nature Ramble led by a Park Ranger. We shall meet from about 1 pm at the main car park (£1.50 per vehicle). Approaching on Wanlip Road from Syston, the entrance is on the left, a few hundred metres after the Hope and Anchor pub. After passing the pay point avoid the left turn and head for the main car park near King Lear's Lake. Allow 10 minutes if walking down from Wanlip Road - the 2 hour ramble starts at 2pm prompt.
Afterwards social 'til late c/o member David Ray at 8 Victoria Street, Thurmaston, LE4 8GG. Feel free to bring some food and/or drink. All members and friends welcome.
Free to LSS members. For non-members there will be a charge of £2 for the guided ramble. Alternatively join on the day.
10.00am to 6.00pm: guided tours, live music, refreshments, showings of the BBC programme "Secular Believers", exhibition of ephemera and pictures of the Secular Society and early secularists. Opportunities to meet members of the Society.
6.30pm: Talk by Ned Newitt, "Selections from the Secular Society Scrapbook: a look at the early activities of the Society through printed materials"
Leicester Secular Society founded 1851 is unique: the oldest secular society in the world, and today one of the most active groups in the city with over fifty talks and social events a year and increasing membership showing appreciation of its relevance to today's society.
Secular Hall, opened in 1881 and a Grade II listed building, is one of the most important Victorian buildings in the city: this is rare opportunity to see the whole building.
Sunday 16 September 6:30pm Ali Mohammadi on: Iran: The Struggle between the Secular State and Religious Fundamentalism. Dr Mohammadi is a tireless researcher, observer and lecturer. Although officially retired he is in much demand as a lecturer at universities and institutions both in this country and Iran. His talk will help us to unravel the tensions that beset Iran and show how far religious fundamentalism influences that country's internal and external relationships.
Friday 21 September 6:30pm, at University of Leicester Eleanor Davidson reports that Claire Rayner is due to speak on behalf of Leicester Secular Society and The Medico-Legal Society and University Hospitals Leicester.
WE REGRET THAT CLAIRE IS UNWELL AND THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
Saturday 22 September 2:00pm, Ramble beginning at the church at Houghton-on-the-Hill (A47). Terry Bates, Chair of the Leicester & District Group of the Ramblers Association, has invited members of Leicester Secular Society to join a walk he is leading on the afternoon of Saturday 22 September. The ramble starts at 14:00 at the church at Houghton-on-the-Hill, and will be about 4-5 miles. Bring something to eat / drink if you wish. No dogs please. Let's try to get a good turnout - maybe this could lead to more joint activities in future! [Eleanor Davidson]
Sunday 23 September 6:30pm. A Headstrong round-table discussion meeting is proposed on the subject of Government Policy on Religious Education. This would be to take account of the "Faith in the System" Report, and Religious Education Standards: Key Stages 1 and 2 and Key Stage 3 (click on some of the topics to see further details).
Sunday 30 September 6:30pm. Peter and Sylvia Peasgood - The Victorian Toy Theatre. These two Leicester residents are well-known authorities on this subject and have demonstrated their materials in many different countries, as well as in many places in Britain. They will bring a theatre with them to show a performance of Oliver Twist using a Victorian adaptation of Dickens' story. They will talk and answer questions about their work. This is suitable for young people of all ages.
The Palestine Film Series. Steve Bonham presents a selection of films about, or relating to, the current situation in Palestine. Two films a month are planned to be shown from October to December 2007.
Tuesday 2 October 7:30pm. The Palestine Film Series (1) introduced by Steve Bonham.
Sunday 7 October 6:30pm. George Ballentyne, Believer and Unbeliever: which is the Protected Species. The talk will consider the status of religious belief and practice, free thinking, secularism and humanism in public and private life in light of the adoption of a national human rights agenda. George Ballentyne is Equality Training Officer with Leicester Council of Faiths. Before that, he worked as an adult education tutor, mostly teaching people with long-term mental health issues.
Sunday 14 October 6:30pm. Dr Jenny Pickerill - Alliances and Fractures: The anti-war movement in Britain. This talk provides evidence from in-depth analysis of case studies from a full range of anti-war and peace organisations including Faslane 365, the Friends, Stop the War, Muslim organisations etc. It describes how alliances were made, fell apart and the resulting changes in the capacity to make objections to war. Jenny Pickerill is lecturer in Human Geography at Leicester University with a spcial interest in issues surrounding social and environmental justice. More details at http://www.jennypickerill.info.
Tuesday 16 October 7:30pm. The Palestine Film Series (2) introduced by Steve Bonham.
Three recent official reports have been very critical of the present state of RE in our schools. They present us with an opportunity to change things that must not be missed. I shall review the situation and, in particular, discuss the status of the BHA proposal to allow religious appointees onto school premises to provide instruction.Background Reading
To really worry see also the recent government/religious leaders report Faith in the System
Allan adds "Please support my petition: petitions.pm.gov.uk/endfaithschools".
Friday 19 October John Catt reports that the British Humanist Association Family Network will be holding a Humanist Families weekend in Leicester 19-21 October. It includes a visit to the National Space Centre on Saturday and to Secular Hall and New Walk Museum on Sunday.
Sunday 21 October 6:30pm. Tim Hollins and Maureen Russell - El Salvador - From War to Peace. Tim and 'Mogs' have been working with a refugee community in El Salvador for 16 years. The community was created from others that had been destroyed in the ferocious civil war in the '80s. What sort of peace does the country now enjoy? The speakers discuss this, and describe their work in this context.
Sunday 28 October 6:30pm. John Hoffman - The Challenge of Transcendental Atheism. John, a secular society member and former Professor of political theory at Leicester University, has given several talks to the Society. Here he is grappling with a new frontier. This will be thought-provoking session.
Sunday 4 November 6:30pm. Louise Hall - Education without School - one family's experience of home education. Louise's son was not happy at school for a variety of reasons so the family decided to work outside the state system. Louise will relate her experiences in adopting this course of action.
Tuesday 6 November 7:30pm. The Palestine Film Series (3) introduced by Steve Bonham.
Sunday 11 November 6:30pm. Professor John Newsinger - The US Marines. John, now a professor we have to mention because it took so long for this massively published writer to get there, reveals all you need to know about this crack force within the US military.
Sunday 18 November 6:30pm. Emma Bateman - The Battle for Non-Violence. Emma, a committed activist, believes that our democracy is failing. She will give a brief history of the non-violent direct action movement and explain why she thinks such action is necessary.
AGM Advance Notice. Motions and Nominations for election (President, Chair and Directors) at the AGM on 16 December must be with The Secretary by the beginning of the meeting on 2 December. Members will be able to download the necessary documents from this website or request them from The Secretary during November. Now is the time to ensure that your membership subscription is up to date.
Tuesday 20 November 7:30pm. The Palestine Film Series (4) introduced by Steve Bonham.
Sunday 25 November 6:30pm. co-hosted with Leicester Cuba Solidarity Campaign, we present Made in Cuba - Three short films introduced by Cuban councillor Luís Marrón (details subject to confirmation):
Sunday 2 December 6:30pm.*
*AGM deadline. Motions and Nominations for election (President, Chair and Directors) at the AGM on 16 December must be with The Secretary by the beginning of this meeting. Documents have been posted members can also download copies here.
Robert Greygrass Walking on Turtle Island: Stories of the Lakota People. Turtle Island is the land of America. The Lakota people know the land, its animals and its people. Robert's pow-wow singing fills the room with good feelings and his flute playing can bring you to tears. This will be an evening of stories, songs jokes learning and laughter from an award winning storyteller. More ...
This is a change to the previously advertised programme, and we hope Terry Liddle will soon be able bring us his talk Slavery Ancient and Modern a look at slavery from ancient times asking how far slavery extends into the present day? And just what was that Mr Wilberforce really like? Terry is well known for his punchy columns in The Freethinker magazine. We send him our good wishes for a swift recovery.
STOP PRESS: Good news - Terry is well again and will be bringing us this talk on 10 February 2008
Monday 3 December 7:30pm in Christ Church, Clarendon Park Road. SHARED MEAL. SHARED HUMANITY. Christians Aware invite members of the Leicester Secular Society to join them in a bring and share supper - if possible, bring a contribution to the supper. RSVP to Amanda Fitton, Christians Aware, 2 Saxby Street LE2 OND, 0116 254 0770.
This is building on the relations established through the recent eight meeting dialogue, which will continue in Spring 2008 and will include one evening each on Faith Schools and Religious Education. [AH]
Tuesday 4 December 7:30pm. The Palestine Film Series (5) introduced by Steve Bonham.
Wednesday 5 December Refreshments 7:00pm for 7:30pm start in Belvoir Park Lounge, Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester. Public Debate on Abortion with Anne Quesney (Abortion Rights), Joanne Hill (Life). Entrance £3; concessions £2; Students Free with NUS Card. Further details tba.
Saturday 8 December 10:00am - 4:00pm at the Bishopsgate Library (an independent library, wholly funded by Bishopsgate Foundation, which offers free public access to its world-renowned collections on London, labour, freethought and co-operation), 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH. No Command but their Conscience.
To follow on from the success of Londoners Co-operate! day in July, the Bishopsgate Institute are celebrating their freethought and secularism collections in a No command but their conscience day. This will explore the history of freethought and secularism in the nineteenth century, including those who led it and how it became an important force in the politics of Victorian Britain. Items from the Charles Bradlaugh and George Jacob Holyoake collections will be on display as part of the day.
The speakers for day are:
Tickets cost £15 (£10 concessions) and advance booking is necessary. For more information telephone 020 7392 9270 or download the booking form from the Bishopgate Institute. [CW]
Sunday 9 December 6:30pm. Alan Loasby Documenting our Rights of Way in Leicester. For most of the country, footpaths are now documented on 'Definitive Maps' but within the city boundary this is still a work in progress. Alan is Footpath Secretary for the Leicester Group of the Ramblers Association, and over the years has pursued thousands of complaints to ensure that our footpaths remain usable. When Alan spoke to us four years ago, his subject was the long-awaited Right to Roam legislation, and the campaign to achieve it. [FRF]
Sunday 16 December 6:30pm. Annual General Meeting (for members only, so do join if you wish to attend). This will be the first AGM of the Leicester Secular Society as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Nominations for elections and motions must be with The Secretary before the meeting (by 6:30 pm) on 2 December.
The necessary documents are available here. Don't worry if you can't open them - they will be mailed to members with the AGM notices.
Page updated 28 January 2008 FF