In 2015 as it was our first year our events have been focussed on just meeting up socially, getting to now each other, and having mainly local speakers including our local humanists celebrants. it was a varied opportunistic program and as has been pointed out many of our talks covered important but rather dark topics. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our speakers this year - you can find a summary of most of them on our website under the events tab above.
When I started Windsor Humanists I had no idea what I was doing nor even if there even were other humanists in the Windsor area! I personally have been chuffed to bits at how things have gone. I have made contact with fellow humanists of all shapes, ages and backgrounds, many who I hope will become lifelong friends. My main personal objective was to get to know a wide range of people in the local Windsor area and to feel more connected to the local community. The group has certainly done that for me personally.
I also had three more formal less personal objectives in my head for the first year when I started the group:-
First, to get the group up and running with a core membership of about 20 people. In todays world of complex overlapping social media sites ‘measuring' membership now is difficult but we have a ’network’ of over 50+ local people. We have 36 on our direct email list, 38 signed up on Meet-up, plus 26 followers on Facebook with 10-12 people turning up to most events although that figures obviously varies depending on the event and the time of year. So with overlaps I think its safe to say we have somewhere between 50 up to a maximum of 100 people in our local 'humanist network'.
Second, to try to get a small committee set up by the end of the year so we could formally join the British Humanist Association as a Partner Group which we have now done! I would like to thank Alison Carpenter our founding secretary and Roger Heppleston our founding Vice-Chair/Treasurer for agreeing to join me in our first Founders Committee. If anyone else wants to volunteer and join us in our quest to grow the group further please contact any three of us - you will be made very welcome!
Third, to start to establish Windsor Humanists as a visible presence in the local area as the 'go to’ group for advice and guidance on non religious humanistic matters. We have made contact with the Slough Faith Partnership as part of our outreach work and we have been invited to speak at 2-3 local schools in the Spring term due to our public website and local contacts. And this has been achieved without too much effort just by being visible by meeting regularly once a month. I find it almost magical that just by meeting once a month for a chat and social we have already become a recognised presence in the local area! I know Roger in particular wants to grow our contacts with local schools so expect to hear more about this as we get further into 2016.
Below you will see our potential program for 2016 put together with Roger and Alison’s assistance. We aim to have much more variety, some lighter topics mixed in with both local and outside speakers. If you have ideas for other events please let us know and we will add them to the list. Our aim is to try to have at least a 3 month firm look ahead once we get the planning process up and running.
I think 2016 is going to be an interesting year for humanism - the Royal Commission has just reported today that the non religious now make up over 50% of the UK population and need to be considered more in National life. The BHA have also won a famous legal ruling that Schools have to teach about humanism in Religious Education Classes which perhaps should be recast as ‘Belief Education’. The BHA will be rolling out their information pack on humanism to schools next year to help them do this and we hope that we might be able to do our bit and see if we can run a workshop in our local area for schools as part of that with BHA help.
I would like to thank everyone for coming along to our events in 2015 and supporting Windsor Humanists' first year. I look forward to meeting up with you all again in 2016.
With my very best warmest humanistic best wishes for the New Year
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