Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists is a welcoming group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet in Bournemouth for informative and enjoyable presentations, debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, religion, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social events.

Memories of a Former Cult Devotee

Saturday 8th April 2.00pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown Bournemouth BH9 1TW

With Former Cult Member Alice Herron

Alice Herron spent 27 years as the devotee of the Indian guru, Sri Chinmoy. She will describe how as an idealistic young woman she joined a meditation group, and how this group grew and changed over the subsequent years, developing all the features of a classic cult. She will also cover Chinmoy’s increasingly outrageous exploits and ambitions as he travelled the world gaining new disciples, meeting the rich and famous, and building himself a worldwide spiritual empire.

Explaining why she eventually left, Alice will reveal how after leaving she discovered the dark secrets the guru hid from most of his followers, including  some disturbing allegations made by other former devotees against the self-proclaimed ‘last and greatest human incarnation of God’.

This presentation is an insider view of life in a Hindu-based cult in the later part of the 20th century, highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of such groups.

Alice Herron is a retired business studies lecturer. After leaving the Sri Chinmoy group she studied psychology of religion at Heythrop College, University of London, where her master's dissertation was titled, 'Psychological Factors in the Emergence of New Religious Movements'. She is currently a psychology PhD candidate at the University of Surrey, researching atheists who claim to have had some kind of mystical-type experience.  She aims to complete her PhD in 2018.

“Join us for a fascinating insider’s view of life in a cult”

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and an easy way to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to our event listings on these sites:

http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists/events/

You can also help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Humanist Ceremonies

Most of us want to celebrate important events in our lives such as births, marriages and partnerships, as well as to commemorate people we have loved when they die. It’s important that we are able to mark these occasions with honesty, warmth and affection, using words and music appropriate to the lives and the people involved.

For those of us without religious beliefs, Humanist celebrants are available to plan your ceremony in close consultation with you to make sure it’s exactly what you and your family want. Click here for more information about Humanist ceremonies.

Dorset Humanists’ celebrant partners
Our BHA Accredited celebrant partners are Simon Bull from Bournemouth, and David Hewitt from Christchurch. David and Simon both offer the full range of non-religious ceremonies including weddings, funerals and baby-namings. Between them they are available to conduct ceremonies across the South-West including Bournemouth, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Poole, Southampton, Wiltshire and elsewhere by arrangement. Their contact details are available on their respective webpages at:

http://humanist.org.uk/davidhewitt and

http://humanist.org.uk/simonbull/

Weddings
David Hewitt writes, “A Humanist wedding ceremony is focussed not on God, but on you as a couple, and the family and friends you will gather around you, to share in and witness your public statement of commitment to each other. The ceremonies I conduct are very flexible and can be as simple or as elaborate, in venues as formal or unusual, as you wish. Having met with you to understand more about you both as individuals and as a couple, I will write and lead a ceremony that is meaningful and dignified, yet warm and romantic and above all personal, reflecting your hopes and aspirations for a stable, lifelong relationship together”

Funerals and Memorial Services
As human beings we’re all different and we all believe different things… but one thing we can all believe is that every life is special; every person matters. So a funeral ceremony must be proper and appropriate, both for the person who has died and for those who have loved them. The death of someone close to us is really an intensely private affair. And yet it is at this very time, when we feel at our least rational and capable, that we have to create exactly the right farewell; because this will be our only chance to do so. Whatever the circumstances, a Humanist ceremony can provide just that, and our Humanist celebrants will help you design a unique and fitting tribute for the crematorium, or burial location of your choice. The ceremony can be as grand or as simple as you wish, and may also be held in a hall, hotel or other non-religious venue.  We are always prepared to visit you at home at a time convenient to you, and we’re also happy to help you make an informed choice for the future, or just answer your questions. 

Baby Namings
Simon Bull says, “as I father I understand the importance of family and of celebrating the arrival of children. There’s no set script for a humanist naming ceremony – it’s too personal an occasion for that. Instead, every naming is tailored to meet the particular family’s requirements. Working with you I will craft a ceremony that is right for your child(ren) and for your family. Naming ceremonies are not just for babies, indeed many take place on first birthdays or later. It is not unusual to have double or even triple ceremonies where older siblings are celebrated along with more recent arrivals.

Further Information
For more general information about Humanist Ceremonies, or to find a celebrant outside of the Bournemouth and New Forest areas, please contact Simon Bull or David Hewitt or visit https://humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/.

March Bulletin

We hope you will be able to join us at our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 11th March  to celebrate the highlights of the past year, to find out who is Humanist of the Year 2017, and, most importantly, to have your say on the future growth and development of our community group. We also have some important volunteer roles to fill so please have a look at the vacancies and let us know if you would like to get more involving in helping Dorset Humanists to become even more effective. Full details are inside this month’s Bulletin.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday if you can are able to join us, or at one of our other upcoming events.

http://dorset.humanist.org.uk/dorset/DH-Bulletin-March-2017.pdf

David Warden
Chair of Dorset Humanists

A Sceptic's Guide to the Origins of Christianity

Wednesday 22nd March 7.30pm
The Green House Hotel,  4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX
With Historian Peter Marchant
Many scholars have realised that the Gospels were largely re-imaginings of earlier Hebrew scriptural stories that were believed to be prophetic, but it is less well understood that the Gospel authors also borrowed from Greek literature such as the epics of Homer. Peter Marchant will show how Persian religion influenced and merged with brands of Judaism to produce the first Christian sects, and he will challenge the early dates traditionally given to the New Testament writings, arguing that critical scholarship is now moving their composition into the second century. He will also offer a surprising alternative explanation for the Anno Domini dating system. Throughout the presentation, Peter will be providing evidence demonstrating that Christ is a ‘composite construction’ combining supernatural elements with both legendary and genuine historical persons.

Peter Marchant graduated in Ancient History from Manchester University and has been studying Christian origins for a quarter of a century.  He has worked for the Council for British Archaeology, and is the author of the book: ‘3 Peter: a Sceptic's Guide to the Origins of Christianity’


“Join us for some fascinating revelations about the real origins of the world’s most widely followed religion”
 
Hosted by Dorset Humanists (donations appreciated)

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed via its rear entrance in Gervis Road. The hotel has a small onsite car park, and roadside parking is also available in Gervis Road).
Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and an easy way to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to our event listings on these sites:
http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists/events/

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.










Annual General Meeting 2017

Saturday 11th March 1.15pm/2.15pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown Bournemouth BH9 1TW

with Dorset Humanists Committee
 
At our AGM we celebrate the highlights of the past year, and renew and refresh our sense of belonging to a stimulating and engaging community group. We value your views and opinions, and our AGM enables our members to determine the future growth and development of Dorset Humanists, so please do come along and take part. 

We hope you will also be able to join us for a complimentary celebratory lunch for our subscribing members at 1.15pm prior to the meeting beginning at 2.15pm (non-members are also welcome to join us for the meal, but there will be a small charge of £3 to help with costs – or you can become a member on the day).
This year’s AGM business will include discussing and voting on three resolutions, including one on our future event entrance pricing, so do join us to have your say. Further details of AGM business can be found in this month’s bulletin available on our website (Please note: everyone is welcome to attend the AGM, but only subscribing members may vote on resolutions. Dorset Humanists Annual membership costs £15). 

Join us to play your part in determining the future of Dorset Humanists”
  
Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and an easy way to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to our event listings on these sites: 

http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists/events/
 
You can also help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF. 

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.