What we're about

Welcome to the Central London Humanist Group!

The CLHG provides a meeting place for Humanists, the secular and other non religious people, particularly those who live or work in the Central London area.

Every month we hold a talk/lecture and several social events. Our social activities include group socials, a book group, picnics, walks, museum & cultural visits and theatre trips.

If you're not religious and would like to meet like minded people, please join us.

As we don't have a membership fee a donation of £3 is suggested at each meetup. This goes towards our running costs, partnership fees and charitable donations. If it's your first time we don't expect a donation.

We are a partner group of Humanists UK (http://www.humanism.org.uk)
We are an Associate Member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union
We are Consultative Members of the European Humanist Federation (http://www.iheu.org)

We're also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/centrallondonhumanists) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/LondonHumanists/). Some of our previous talks are available on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/LondonHumanistGroup).

Anyone who joins us on Meetup can participate fully in events. They can suggest events, participate in organising events and much more.

As we are such a large group, each year we hold an AGM and elect a committee to help manage the group. To be a voting member of the Central London Humanists or be a member of the committee, you must be a paid up member of Humanists UK (to join go here (https://www.humanism.org.uk/join)).

Upcoming events (4+)

Online Social

Online event

Getting together, chatting, sharing and laughing is important for our mental health and well-being. It is also a great opportunity for members to meet and be part of our community.

Although we have restarted in person meetings, people who cannot travel, or those who live too far away (Scotland and the US for example) have asked for these Zoom meetings to continue

We will be meeting from 6.30pm till around 9.30pm so please join us anytime using the Zoom link (active from 6.30).

We recommend you download the phone or desktop app prior to the event and have a look at the Zoom guide for your device/computer. You do not need a Zoom account to join this event but you can register for a free account if you wish.

The host will meet you as you arrive and assign you a 'room' with others. You can leave the room at any time and ask the host to assign you to another 'room'. Please feel free to ask to move rooms, go for a break, leave and come back, have dinner, etc. We would like these to be as casual and welcoming events as possible. If you have any ideas on how we can improve things, please let us know in the comments. (One suggestion is a sing-a-long room).

For some, this will be the first time they have tried Zoom so please be patient with everyone on the night. If you have any technical difficulties prior to the event, leave a comment below. and we will try to help out. During the event leave the 'room' you have been assigned and talk to the host.

Whether you're non-religious, questioning your previously-held beliefs, or just an open-minded person looking to mingle, these socials could be just right for you. You can expect to meet like-minded people, make friends, network with community activists, and have a lively discussion on the issues of the day.

We usually met in a pub so feel free to recreate that experience the best you can from home - bring along your favorite tipple!

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We encourage dialogue, debate and sharing of information at our events but ask people to keep their interactions cordial. Any views expressed are those of the individual sharing them and may not reflect those of the CLH.

Book Group: Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli

Royal Festival Hall

October's Book is Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli
Join us in person at the Royal Festival Hall to discuss Carlo Rovelli's latest book!

The meeting starts at 7 pm. At 7:15 pm we will break up into small groups. Those familiar with CLH Book Group meeting know how this works: in each group we take turns introducing ourselves and giving our 1 minute thoughts on the book. It's important not to go over a minute and not to interrupt other people's minute so that everyone gets a chance to participate. After this first round, each group discusses for another 20 minutes or so.

We then shuffle the groups so as to talk to as many different people as possible and in the new groups repeat our introductions and 1 minute thoughts. We'll do this a couple of times before coming all together at the end in one last big group.
While we are very social and welcoming, the book group's primary focus is on discussing books. Feel free to turn up if you haven't managed to finish this month's book but note that the group works best when we have all read at least some of the book and are prepared to share our opinions.

From Goodreads:
"A startling new look at quantum theory, from the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time.

One of the world's most renowned theoretical physicists, Carlo Rovelli has entranced millions of readers with his singular perspective on the cosmos. In Helgoland, he examines the enduring enigma of quantum theory. The quantum world Rovelli describes is as beautiful as it is unnerving.

Helgoland is a treeless island in the North Sea where the twenty-three-year-old Werner Heisenberg made the crucial breakthrough for the creation of quantum mechanics, setting off a century of scientific revolution. Full of alarming ideas (ghost waves, distant objects that seem to be magically connected, cats that appear both dead and alive), quantum physics has led to countless discoveries and technological advancements. Today our understanding of the world is based on this theory, yet it is still profoundly mysterious.

As scientists and philosophers continue to fiercely debate the meaning of the theory, Rovelli argues that its most unsettling contradictions can be explained by seeing the world as fundamentally made of relationships rather than substances. We and everything around us exist only in our interactions with one another. This bold idea suggests new directions for thinking about the structure of reality and even the nature of consciousness.

Rovelli makes learning about quantum mechanics an almost psychedelic experience. Shifting our perspective once again, he takes us on a riveting journey through the universe so we can better comprehend our place in it. "

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A voluntary donation of £3 is suggested -but first-timers are welcome to give us a free trial. If you prefer you can pay online by clicking here (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZWCNRJ25BDL96)

Events are advertised on multiple online portals, and through email, so the RSVP numbers on any one portal will not reflect the actual greater attendance on the day.

We encourage dialogue, debate and sharing of information on our site but ask people to keep their comments cordial. Any views expressed here are those of the individual posting them and may not reflect those of the CLHG.

In-Person Monthly Social

The Somers Town Coffee House

Central London Humanists is delighted to invite you all to our In-Person Pub Socials every first Wednesday of the month. Getting together, chatting, sharing, and laughing, is important for our mental health and well-being.

We will meet for a social evening at a central London pub. Please drop by whether you're non-religious, questioning your previously-held beliefs, or just an open-minded person looking to mingle.

You can expect to meet like-minded people, make friends, network with community activists, and have a lively discussion on the issues of the day. It is also a great opportunity for current and new members to meet and be part of our community.

Some people arrive at 6.00 p.m. straight after work, but there is no specific time to be there and people arrive throughout the evening. Quite often a group of us are still engaged in debate at closing time.

A voluntary donation of £3 is suggested - but first-timers are welcome to give us a free trial. If you prefer you can also pay online by clicking here: https://checkout.square.site/merchant/ML71XMH66FX5E/checkout/ALWCDLQ3S7AVPLFZ62PZGXLU

We encourage dialogue, debate, and sharing of information at our events but ask people to keep their interactions cordial. Any views expressed are those of the individual sharing them and may not reflect those of the CLH.

Our Venue

We will meet at the Somers Town Coffeehouse (https://www.thesomerstowncoffeehouse.co.uk/) in a pleasantly refurbished grade II listed building nestled between Kings Cross and Euston stations.

You'll find us on tables behind the bar to the left, on the way to the garden, with signs saying reserved for humanists so we are pretty easy to find, and a very friendly group, so please come along and meet us. We look forward to seeing you there.

Click here (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=NW1+1HS&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=17.989931,47.416992&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=London+NW1+1HS,+United+Kingdom&z=16) for a map.

Some things to note about the venue:

Free Wi-fi is available. All indoor facilities are wheelchair-friendly/accessible. We estimate it's between a five to ten minutes walk from Euston and Kings Cross stations respectively. Over eighteen different bus routes stop nearby!

Theatre Trip: Yellowfin at Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse

£23.00

Join us at London's leading Off West End theatre for Yellowfin where 'politics and the planet collide in a fiercely original new play' a 'bitingly funny exploration of the limits of science, the power of myths, and the things we can’t control.'

From What's On Stage's review:
Marek Horn's sharp new satire takes place in an America of the future, where a fish smuggler has been hauled in front of a committee on Capitol Hill to explain himself. Though he isn't entirely sure what he is expected to explain.

The reason fish smuggling is of such interest to the authorities is that fish have disappeared. Vanished. Even though the seas have risen enough to engulf the entirety of Britain, there is not so much as a minnow to be found. The only fish meat that remains exists in tins, which are traded on the black market and are of increasing scientific interest. Tuna - particularly yellow and bluefin - is top of the most wanted list.

There have been several recent plays that deal with climate change in both a direct and indirect way. Many are very heavy-handed in their treatment of the subject, and often suffer for it. In contrast, Horn manages to bring levity to the issue, and his play resonates all the greater for it.

It helps that Ed Madden's tidy production allows Horn's skilful wordplay to take centre stage. Played in traverse on Anisha Fields' nicely austere set, the exchanges between Calintini, the smuggler, and the three-strong committee feels like sport. Barbs are exchanged, some shouted, others whispered into microphones, as these climate survivors try to make sense of the wreckage they've inherited. There is a Pinter-esque absurdism. The committee often use the words "let the record show" as a veiled threat, while acting deeply unprofessionally.

The wise head in the room is, naturally, Calintini, and Joshua James gives a powerhouse performance. He captures a sense of the anarchic outsider whilst viscerally displaying the pain he feels at the brutal killing of his brother; he wretches over the desk describing its gruesome details. On the other side of the carpet, Nancy Crane, Nicholas Day and Beruce Khan make a comic triple act of a committee. Day is the blundering veteran, recalling his fading memories of the taste of fish, Crane the no-nonsense chair desperate for answers, and Khan a kind of stuffed-shirted middleman.

Ultimately their futile attempts to pin down Calintini feel representative of the efforts of state machinery to deal with the climate crisis. Countless enquiries are held in countless committee rooms, but where do they lead? Yellowfin manages to find the balance of being both urgent and genuinely entertaining.

At 100 minutes straight through, it is perhaps a notch overlong. But the climactic moments are superbly well constructed, leading to a delicious denouement. I guarantee you'll never look at a tin of tuna in quite the same way.

We'll meet before the play at Southwark Playhouse's bar and (pizza) kitchen. If you prefer they are quite ok with guests calling on Deliveroo or bringing in their own food. If you can come to the play but not early enough for food, let us know, we can email you your ticket. We'll also find the best place to chat and socialse after the play.

Tickets are £23 (this covers PayPal and booking costs plus a small donation to Central London Humanists). The show is coming up very soon so reservations are open FOR ONLY 10 DAYS. Get your ticket before 28 October.

We are a friendly group, we encourage dialogue, debate and sharing of information at our events and on our site but ask people to keep their comments cordial. Any views expressed here are those of the individual posting them and may not reflect those of the CLH.

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