10 September 2005

I've been thinking of starting up a weblog for a while, but didn't want it just to be a place to impose my own views on the world, or to chat inconsequentially about anything that came to mind, since my mind is anything but orderly and disciplined. One of my favourite sayings is from Lewis Carroll: "never do anything without a porpoise". The purpose of this blog is therefore to provide a News Service related to Leicester Secular Society, whose website I set up and maintain at: http://homepages.stayfree.co.uk/lss/index.htm.

By reporting activities of the Society and other relevant events I hope it will be possible to stimulate greater interest, especially among younger people. Someone recently said to me that the Society is seen as a club for grumpy old men! Unfortunately I fear that there is some truth in this observation. That was one of the stimuli that led me to set up this site. We regularly attract younger people to look into our meetings, but the trouble is they tend to come one at a time, see few people of their own age, and unless they already have a commitment to the reforms and ideas for which the Society stands, have little incentive to return.

The immediate event that triggered my action in opening this blog was an email I received from an enquirer, that brought to our notice a conference on "Law, Religion and Secularism" organised by the University of Leicester, but which the organisers had not seen fit to tell us about, although they had informed all the local faith groups, and had got a speaker from the British Humanist Association. For details see here: http://www.le.ac.uk/law/lrsconference/. One of my next posts will be a report on that meeting. (I understand Hanne Stinson is not able to come, so the BHA will be represented by Andrew Copson.)

Well done! Leicester SecSoc enters the 21st Century. Back in the eighteenth century Tom Paine said:

"All men and women are my brothers and sisters.
The world is my country.
To do good is my religion"

Has the world been asleep since then? Let's give the revolution another kick-start starting in our own Leicester back yard.
Hey George, I'm going in to Crazy Reckless mode and attending Monday's conference up in Leicester. Maybe. If I do, see you there!
Nice one, George - I shall look in on a regular basis, and pass on tips. What we need is someone reading the Mercury who can alert us to stuff going on that we can write letters about.
I'm wondering whether Leicester Secular Society could have a stand at the Charities & Voluntary Organisations Fair as part of Freshers Week at the University of Leicester. Local churches and various other political and other groups are taking part.

It would be a good way to start a dialogue with some young people and find out more about what interests them, what their concerns are about the world and how they would like to organise.

We could use this to think about and plan an event next Spring expressly for young people. There is no Young People's Parliament in Leicester - no place where young people can meet and discuss concerns, both local and global.

To start to engage some young people and provide a space where they can meet and set their own agenda seems to me a good way forward.

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