Faithlessness, Skepticism

KCH Horsham Uses Women as Bait to Attract Men

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After returning from an inspirational Alpha Course weekend in Eastbourne with my favourite Church: St Peter’s (Brighton) this weekend, I was all set to write a heart-warming post about how much humanists and christians have in common when they bother to get to know each other properly. That post, however, will have to wait, as I have succumbe [...]

The “Devil Boy” and the Church of England’s Miracles

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Those unfortunate enough to have come across a “newspaper” called “The Sun” yesterday will have seen that their front page story was about a 4 year-old boy who bore a circular, cross-haired injury on his chest. The Sun ran with the headline “BOY, 4, HAS MARK OF DEVIL” Here is that front page – the face of the boy was not pixellated in t [...]

New website: Sunday Assembly Watch

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I am going to separate my writing on the subject of Sunday Assembly from the rest of my blogging. I have two separate audiences and rather than have each of them endure posts they aren’t interested in, I’m starting a new website called Sunday Assembly Watch, where I will place all of my SA-related utterances. In addition to blog posts by me a [...]

A Gift From Me to the Alpha Course: Session 12A

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I offer this additional Alpha Course session free of charge to anyone that is serious about exploring miracles, especially within the course. Alpha students are often presented with instances of miraculous healing that may even have happened at their church or during the very Alpha session they are in. I’d like to help my fellow Alpha stude [...]

Christians Targeted in Rent Scam (no need to thank this skeptic)

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My friend @mandogfish was looking on the Friday-Ad website for a flat to rent in Shoreham yesterday when he came across something a little unusual. Charming 2 bedroom flat in central Brunswick Road now available for Christians only with all BILLS!… He found this amusing, tweeted about it and being a reasonable chap, moved on with his l [...]

Miracle in Brighton and Nicky Gumbel’s Tongues

Miracle in Brighton and Nicky Gumbel’s Tongues
Saint Peter’s in Brighton is a thriving, youthful church that was reopened in 2009 after a couple of years of redundancy thanks to a “Church plant” from Holy Trinity Brompton – the home of the Alpha Course. St Peter’s has been particularly successful in attracting young people, mostly due to the energy and enthusiasm of the [...]

Is Sunday Assembly Knowingly Fibbing to Get Your Support?

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The central Sunday Assembly organisation, having appointed Sanderson Jones as their CEO have started a campaign of contacting local atheist, secularist and skeptic groups and individuals to get them to help in the next phase of expansion. Included in the emails they have been sending out to potential supporters is a link to this video, which [...]

Sunday Assembly – More about my volunteering views

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After my previous blog post I was pleased to hear that quite a few people support my views after all. However a majority of those expressions of support still disagreed with my opinion about the Sunday Assembly operating as a solely voluntary, decentralised organisation so I’d like to go into a little more detail on that. Having a centralised [...]

I Have Left Sunday Assembly

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Last Sunday, after my 10th service as one of the organisers of Brighton Sunday Assembly, I resigned from their committee. I had known this was coming since our last meeting where I proposed that SA Brighton officially break away from the Central Sunday Assembly organisation. The majority of the team decided to stick with them for the time bei [...]

David Cameron Supports Alpha Course in Prisons

David Cameron Supports Alpha Course in Prisons
In his Easter message, David Cameron spoke of the importance of Christian faith in the UK. In particular he praised the Alpha Course for the work it does in prisons across the country. Most prisons in the UK offer the Alpha Course to their inmates (around 80-85% of them). It doesn’t take a cynic to see the immediate benefits of Alpha attenda [...]

Decision Time for Sunday Assembly – Guest post at Skeptic Ink

Decision Time for Sunday Assembly – Guest post at Skeptic Ink
I was kindly invited by Johnathan Pearce @ATipplingPhilo to write a guest blog for his site at Skeptic Ink. He happened to catch me in the middle of writing a book about atheist churches, so this blog post goes over some of the issues have have come up as Sunday Assembly starts to make decisions about what kind of organisation it wants to be. [...]

In Defence of Sunday Assembly

In Defence of Sunday Assembly
It is a common reaction for parents whose child has been criticised to say something along the lines of “oh but she’s a good girl really”. This is easily dismissed as bias, but so be it. The parent thinks that if only the critic really knew their child, they wouldn’t have said such a thing. But then again, if the critic only knew enough [...]

Horsham Mind, Body, Spirit (woo) Fayre

Horsham Mind, Body, Spirit (woo) Fayre
“So what problems can these necklaces treat?” “Everything” Everything. Just Another Local Woo Fayre I was at Horsham’s Drill Hall for a Mind, Body and Spirit Fayre. It was only 15 minutes walk away from my flat and £2 to get in, so despite my determination to stay in bed all day I went along. Horsham is one of many towns that is blessed wit [...]

Reasons for Believing: Are They So Hard to Understand?

Reasons for Believing: Are They So Hard to Understand?
The marvellous Sara Mayhew asked a question on twitter earlier today: Judging by her next response I will assume the question was rhetorical, as I think Hayley Stevens gave her a perfectly good answer given the restrictions of twitter : I like the way Sara Mayhew thinks and speaks (and of course she was just letting off steam on twitter [...]

Response to Phil Playfoot’s Comment re: Atheist “Church”

Response to Phil Playfoot’s Comment re: Atheist “Church”
This was supposed to be a response to a comment on the previous post “A Godless Church for Horsham?” but it’s a bit too long so I will post it here instead. Here is the original comment from Phil Playfoot of King’s Church Horsham: Hi Simon. Before I respond to your proposal, can I just say that Skeptics (American) is s [...]

A Godless Church for Horsham?

A Godless Church for Horsham?
I wanted to find out a bit more about Horsham’s thoughts on the idea of a church for atheists, along the lines of the Sunday Assembly up in London. I was on BBC Surrey & Sussex last Sunday morning to discuss the idea with the creators of the London atheist church, so I thought it was worth seeing what Horsham really thought. I share [...]

“What About Teh Menz?” asked Socrates

“What About Teh Menz?” asked Socrates
In this lengthy post, I want to defend myself against the charge that in referring to men’s problems during a conversation about women’s problems I am diminishing the importance of the woman’s problem or that I therefore think men’s problems are more important. The attitude I am opposing is neatly summed up in this cartoon: “Somewhere out the [...]

Thomas à Kempis – A Humanist Response

Thomas à Kempis – A Humanist Response
[Edit: In response to this, Christian blogger The Alethiophile has read and reviewed one of my favourite humanist books. Do have a look.] I often find it more rewarding to read books I disagree with than books I do agree with. It helps me to clarify and sharpen exactly what I believe. Testing our own beliefs is best done by putting them up ag [...]

What Would Jesus Say to Dawkins? King’s Church Horsham

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I was recently invited to a meeting of King’s Church, Horsham (KCH) entitled “What would Jesus say to Richard Dawkins?” [Video]  “It’s not what you think”, the invitation card promised. The talk was to take place after their regular Sunday service in a sports hall at a school in Horsham. My 12 year old daughter was with me for that weekend an [...]

Atheist Street Preaching

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Walking through Brighton city centre earlier this year, I passed a group of Christian preachers. A few of them were taking it in turns making short speeches about their religious views so I stopped and listened. At one point, a guy said “If you believe in evolution, that means you think life is meaningless; that you’re born, you live and you [...]

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