“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” ― Christopher Hitchens
On Tuesday October 1st the Swindon Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) ratified a decision to co-opt a Humanist representative to sit on the committee. This is of course excellent news as the British Humanist Association and more recently we at the Swindon Humanists had been pushing for someone non-religious to be appointed to represent the 30.5% of Swindon people who said they were non-religious at the last census (2011).
I attended the meeting and was very pleased that the move to have a humanist as part of the committee was not only supported but deemed very important. This is a great opportunity for the Swindon Humanists to really step up and contribute to our local society in a positive way.
The next meeting of Swindon SACRE is due to take place on December 3rd and the committee would like a humanist to take the place from that meeting onward. There are four meetings per year and whoever takes the place will be signed up for the next six meetings before the committee seats are reviewed. So now we need to find our local representative! If you are interested in taking the seat and being part of Swindon SACRE, please contact us on our e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
At the meeting I attended a few topics came up that sounded like great opportunities for us to have a useful input; for example there was discussion of RE classes inviting local people who do various charitable things with their faith as a motivation – I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find people of no religion who do similar good works but without religious reasons. Teaching about local historical figures who had faith was mentioned, again humanist or non-religious equivalents would be important to include in such discussions. Also RE classes visit various places of worship to learn more about different faiths – I wonder what would be a suitable place for a class to visit that a humanist would consider equivalent? The British National Space Centre perhaps? If you have ideas and opinions on topics like this, maybe you’re the person we need!