Anti-Party and Winter Solstice Celebration

Anti-Party and Winter Solstice Celebration

Wednesday, 17th December 2014 at 7:30pm

The Upstairs Room at The Ship and Mitre

133 Dale Street Liverpool L2 2JH

Wishing all Members, Supporters and Friends of Liverpool Humanist Group a Very Merry Christmas / Happy Saturnalia / Cool Yule / Marvellous Midwinter Solstice Celebration / Fantastic Festivus For The Rest Of Us….

We will meet on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 at 7:30pm in the upstairs room at the Ship and Mitre for a short presentation of our plans for the New Year, followed by seasonal celebration.

Don’t expect any food. If you are hungry, come early. There is usually free “Scouse on the House” available downstairs in the Ship and Mitre on a Wednesday evening.

If someone can manage to jam the heater switch on with bluetack or sticky-tape, we may be able to take our coats off after an hour or so.

Robin Ince and Brian Cox have sadly cancelled at the last minute, and the GM Humanist Choir have not responded to any e-mails for over a week, so we may be providing our own entertainment.

The agenda for the business part of the meeting is as follows:

  1. Good News and Bad News: report by the Chair on his recent visit to God Almighty in Heaven
  2. Cause for Concern: matters arising from the recent business meeting with Jesus, Mohammed, Harry Potter and the Buddha in the Crown Hotel on Lime Street
  3. Q.E.D – The Final Solution: how we may finally deal with our idealogical opponents/perfidious rivals/”Very Good Friends” the People’s Front of Judea/Judean People’s Front/Merseyside Skeptics Society
  4. Looking Forward: plans for the anticipated visit of His Holiness the Dalek-Lambanana to Liverpool next year

Blah, blah Bethlehem – the only carol you’ll ever need:

It was a blast singing at Acoustic Amnesty in Salford for World Human Rights Day on Wednesday, 10th December 2014 along with friends from the Greater Manchester Humanist Choir.

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου Hoson zēs phainou While you live, shine
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ mēden holōs sy lypou have no grief at all
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν pros oligon esti to zēn life exists only for a short while
τὸ τέλος ὁ xρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ. to telos ho chronos apaitei. and time demands its toll.

Seikilos Epitaph (circa 100BCE – 200CE)


How should we think about death? – A workshop

How should we think about death? – A workshop

Wednesday, 22nd October 2014 at 7:30pm

The Upstairs Room at The Ship and Mitre

133 Dale Street Liverpool L2 2JH

As Humanists, we accept that this is the only life we can be sure of. We believe that we should make the most of our time on this earth by trying to lead positive and productive lives and by helping those around us to do the same. We believe that each and every individual is unique………

How, therefore, do we contemplate our own deaths? How do we deal with the inevitable loss of those we love? How do we decide to live? We shall look at these questions in a series of exercises.

There will be a charge for this event:
£1 for those unwaged; £3 for students/low waged; £5 fully waged

Please arrive on time, between 7:30pm and 7:45pm. Admission will not be possible after 8:00pm.

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here….we didn’t arrive by spaceship, we arrived by being born, and we didn’t burst conscious into the world but accumulated awareness gradually through babyhood. The fact that we gradually apprehend our world, rather than suddenly discovering it, should not subtract from its wonder.
Richard Dawkins Unweaving the Rainbow


Accustom yourself to believing that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply the capacity for sensation, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a correct understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life a limitless time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood, that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.
Epicurus (341–270 BCE), Letter to Menoeceus


Humanism and Education – A One-Day Conference

Announcing a One-Day Regional Conference

organised and promoted by

Lancashire Secular Humanists, Liverpool Humanist Group

and Greater Manchester Humanists

Humanism and Education

Saturday 28th June 2014

 Winmarleigh House, Winmarleigh Street, Warrington WA1 1NB

Children in School

Children in School

Robin Grinter, Vice-Chair of Greater Manchester Humanists, will speak on “New thoughts for young minds – bringing Humanist perspectives to Religious Education”.

Rachel Ashcroft, who is a Religious Education Coordinator and Year 6 teacher, will present “The Circle of Life: teaching about Darwin and Humanism at primary level”.

Richy Thompson, Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education) for the British Humanist Association will share his knowledge about Faith Schools, and update us on the Fair Admissions Campaign.

Lunchtime fringe events will include:
– Liverpool group development
– Warrington group development
– BHA school visiting programme

“Exploring Humanism” is an introductory course developed by Greater Manchester Humanists, and adopted by the BHA. Robin Grinter and Anna Whitehead, the course presenters, will give us an overview.

“Science and Religion in the classroom” is the theme of the talk by Alom Shaha, author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook

A “Humanist Question Time” will be chaired by Guy Otten. The panel: Rachel Ashcroft, Richy Thompson, Alom Shaha and Anna Whitehead.

We will be entertained by the Greater Manchester Humanist Choir.




Alom Shaha

Alom Shaha – Young Atheist, Humanist and Science Educator

Alom Shaha is a science teacher, writer, and filmmaker, who has spent most of his professional life sharing his passion for science and education with the public. Alom has produced, directed, and appeared in a number of television programmes, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) and the Nuffield Foundation. Alom has been a local councillor, a school governor and volunteered for other charitable organisations. He was born in Bangladesh, but mostly grew up in the Elephant & Castle in London He teaches Physics at a comprehensive school in London and writes for a number of print and online publications. He is the author of  The Young Atheist’s Handbook.


Richy Thompson is Campaigns Officer for Faith Schools and Education at the British Humanist Association.

Richy Thompson - BHA Faith Schools Campaigner

Richy Thompson – BHA Faith Schools Campaigner

Richy graduated from the University of Oxford in 2010 with a Masters in Computer Science. While a student there he founded and was the first President of Oxford Atheists, Secularists and Humanists, and also coordinated the first Oxford Think Week. He subsequently became Press Officer of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS), and in July 2010 was elected as the third President. He simultaneously became a campaigns volunteer at the BHA as well as the European Humanist Federation, before becoming the BHA’s Faith Schools and Education Campaigner in May 2011.



09:30-10:00 Registration, tea and coffee
10:00-10:05 Welcome – Ian Abbott
10:05-11:00 New thoughts for young minds – bringing Humanist perspectives to RE. Robin Grinter, GMH Vice-chair
11:00-11:55 The ‘Circle of Life’: teaching about Darwin and Humanism at primary level. Rachel Ashcroft, RE coordinator and Year 6 teacher
11:55-12:15 Tea & coffee; Greater Manchester Humanist Choir (tbc)
12:15-13:15 Faith schools and fair admissions. Richy Thompson, BHA Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education)
13:15-14:15 Lunch and fringe events
14:15-15:00 Exploring Humanism course developed for GMH. Robin Grinter & Anna Whitehead, course presenters
15:00-16:15 Science and Religion in the classroom. Alom Shaha – author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook
16:15-16:30 Tea and coffee
16:30-17:45 Humanist Question Time chaired by Guy Otten. Panel: Rachel Ashcroft, Richy Thompson, Alom Shaha & Anna Whitehead
17:45-17:50 Closing remarks – Ian Abbott


How Much and How to Book

£24 including conference refreshments – a cold buffet lunch will be provided
(£20 early bird reduction for bookings received by Friday, 13th June 2014)


For further information, contact:

John Coss: email: tel: 0161-430-3463
Ian Abbott: email: tel: 01253-812308



North West Humanist Conference 11-13 October 2013


                                   united on purpose

 What the world most needs at this moment is a means of convincing human beings to embrace the whole of the species as their moral community.   For this we need to develop an utterly non-sectarian way of talking about the full spectrum of human experience and human aspiration.  We need a discourse on ethics and spirituality that is every bit as unconstrained by dogma and cultural prejudice as the discourse of science is.

Sam Harris Killing the Bhudda

The three organisers

The Three Organisers at the Inaugural North West Humanist Conference in 2011

Announcing our Third Annual Regional Conference

organised and promoted by

Lancashire Secular Humanists, Liverpool Humanist Group

and Greater Manchester Humanists

Humanism in Action

Friday 11th October – Sunday 13th October 2013

St Thomas Centre, Ardwick Green North, Manchester M12 6FZ

A few minutes walk south from Manchester Piccadilly station – and with plentiful free on-street parking nearby

There is disabled access throughout the venue and a loop system in the main hall

(The Friday evening film show will be held at The Britons Protection, near the Bridgewater Hall)

 Conference Objectives:

•  To enrich the knowledge and commitment of new and existing members

•  To help participants move forward in living their lives as Humanists

•  To enthuse participants with the message that we have something important and worthwhile to offer the world

•  To help promote knowledge of the value and values of Humanism to the wider community

•  To meet old friends again, and perhaps to make new ones

Notes for participants:

  • Special acoustic boards have been installed in the main hall at the St Thomas Centre which have solved the echo problem we experienced in 2011
  • We encourage you to come to the Friday evening session – a great ice-breaker which will help you get the most out of the conference. The Britons Protection lacks disabled access but is a more suitable venue than the Waldorf, where this session was held in 2011
  • We have opted for facilitated get-togethers for dinner on the Saturday evening, as we cannot hold a conference dinner at the St Thomas Centre.  We will do our best to improve on the 2011 arrangements – more information to follow


North West Humanists are very proud to announce that David Pollock, Trustee of the British Humanist Association, former President of the European Humanist Federation and recipient of the 2011 IHEU Distinguished Service to Humanism Award will be the Key-Note Speaker at our Third Annual Regional Conference on the theme of Humanism in Action in October 2013. This three-day event will be a great opportunity to invite along friends and family who would like to learn more about the positive and optimistic philosophical lifestance which is Humanism.


David Pollock

David has been actively involved in the Humanist movement since 1961 when he joined the Oxford University Humanist Group at a time when it was the largest society in the university and attracted considerable attention in the national press. He went on to serve on the boards of both the British Humanist Association and the Rationalist Association (which publishes New Humanist magazine). He was President of the European Humanist Federation from 2006 to 2012; chaired the Advisory Board  to the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics; and set up the network of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) known as the Alliance for a Secular Europe. He currently represents the International Humanist and Ethical Union at the Council of Europe. He takes a special interest in public policy and campaigning, particularly on the place of religion and belief in society in a context of human rights, equality and non-discrimination. He has written on various aspects of the subject, and has spoken at EU, European Parliament and Council of Europe conferences.

The word “lifestance” was coined in the 1970s by Dr Harry Stopes-Roe of the British Humanist Association. It is equivalent to the German Weltanschauung or “world view”. David Pollock provides a succinct introduction to Humanism as a lifestance in his article Humanism: Beliefs and Values.

Sara Passmore of the BHA

Sara Passmore of the BHA

“What Does The British Humanist Association Do for You?”. Sara Passmore, Head of Education and Promotion at the BHA, will provide some of the answers to this question, and will bring us up-to-date on the most important campaigns the BHA is currently involved in on our behalf.

The BHA campaigns on a wide range of issues including public services, equality law, ethical issues, religion and schools, and social cohesion.

Sara represents the BHA on the National Council of Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education and the Religious Education Council of England and Wales. She is the Vice Chair of Southwark Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In her spare time Sarah helps run SCI-FI-LONDON, the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastical Film.

Sara has responsibility for promoting understanding of Humanism, including through an educational setting, and for promoting the BHA to diverse audiences.

The day before battle - Operation Bluecoat, Normandy 29 July 1944

The day before battle – Operation Bluecoat, Normandy 29 July 1944

“There are no atheists in foxholes” is an adage or proverb used to argue that in times of extreme stress or fear, such as in war, all people will believe in, or hope for, a higher power. It is simply not true.

The UK Armed Forces Humanist Association (UKAFHA) represets a growing body of servicemen and women, their families, veterans and civilian members of the Ministry of Defence who do not hold religious beliefs, and who share the values of Humanism.

Robin Crosse of the  UKAFHA will provide an introduction to the organisation and its work, and will describe some of the special challenges faced by non-religious members of our armed forces.

The BHA has launched a very positive pilot project to provide emotional and moral support to non-religious prisoners: Humanist Pastoral Support in Prisons.

The project is the inspiration of our speaker and BHA member Amy Walden, a Probation Officer seconded to the Prison Service from Hampshire Probation trust. Amy works at Winchester Prison where over 40% of the prison’s 700 inmates are registered as having no religion.

A Prisoner

A Prisoner

“The Prison Service has an obligation to ask prisoners about their religious beliefs and to provide access to a chaplaincy service and prayer or worship place”, Amy explains.”Chaplains are important when prisoners with religion are going through bad times, such as when a family member or loved-one dies or when their partner or children no longer want anything to do with them. But, there is no equivalent service dedicated to non-religious prisoners. When they need solace, emotional support or moral guidance they are offered the use of chaplains.”

Amy will describe the work she has pioneered with the help of the BHA and member and philosopher Dr Brendan Larvor to introduce a pastoral care service for all non-religious prisoners in Winchester Prison.


 Friday 11 October:

1900-1930 Registration, cash bar

1930-2130 Film show: Global Atheist Convention 2012: A Celebration of Reason, filmed in Melbourne and featuring the Four Horsemen of New Atheism reprised (Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris and with Ayan Hirsi Ali taking the place of the late Christopher Hitchens)

 Saturday 12 October:

0900-0930 Registration, tea and coffee

0930-0940 Welcome – Ian Abbott

0940-1100 Keynote address – David Pollock, BHA Trustee

1100-1120 Break, tea and coffee

1120-1220 Break-out sessions

1220-1250 Plenary discussion

1250-1415 Buffet lunch and Conference Fringe

1415-1430  Inaugural performance of the new Northwest Humanist Choir

1430-1550 What the BHA Does For You – Sara Passmore, BHA Head of Education and Promotion

1550-1610 Break, tea and coffee

1610-1730 Humanism and the Armed Forces – Robin Crosse, UKAFHA

Evening      Informal dining at various locations (facilitated get-togethers)

Sunday 13 October:

0900-0930 Tea and coffee

0930-1050 Humanist Pastoral Support in Prisons – Amy Walden, Probation Officer

1050-1110 Break, tea and coffee

1110-1230 Humanist Question Time, chaired by Guy Otten

Panellists: Robin Crosse, David Pollock, Sara Passmore, Amy Walden

1230-1240 Conference close – Ian Abbott

Question Time Panel - North West Humanist Conference 2012

Question Time Panel – North West Humanist Conference 2012


There is no accommodation included in the price of the conference, and none available at the venue. There are numerous options nearby: hostels, hotels, and even apartments, which could be cost effective if shared by a group. is a useful resource, as is

The nearest hotel is the Macdonald Manchester Hotel and Spa.

Value hotels include The Crown and Anchor, and if peace and quiet is not a “must-have” there is the New Union in the famous gay village.

Higher-end hotels include the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel overlooking Piccadilly Gardens, the Britannia, and Doubletree by Hilton Manchester Piccadilly near to Piccadilly Station. Go classy at The Midland Hotel, the beautiful building where Mr Rolls and Mr Royce met.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a hostel called ‘Hatters‘ on Newton Street. Cheap as chips.

If there is any demand, we will also endeavour to connect visiting Humanists looking for accommodation with local Humanists willing to offer accommodation.


£45 including conference refreshments – hot buffet lunch on Saturday

(£37 early bird reduced price for bookings received by Tuesday, 6 August 2013)

For further information, contact:

John Coss:    tel: 0161-430-3463

Ian Abbott:          tel: 01253-812-308

Richard Jacques: tel: 07512-660603

Download our brochure and booking form here: Brochure2013

Humanism in Action - Gay and Lesbian Humanists March with Pride for Equality

Humanism in Action – Gay and Lesbian Humanists March with Pride for Equality

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.
E M Forster, Howards End (1910)

Sex, Religion, Humanism and The Gay Issue

Liverpool Humanist Group presents:-

Sex, Religion, Humanism and The Gay Issue

a talk by Dr. Mike Homfray

Date:     Thursday 11th July 2013
:    7.45pm
The Ship and Mitre (upstairs room), 133 Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2JH
Suggested contribution of £3 (£1 students and unwaged)

Gay and Lesbian Humanists

Gay and Lesbian Humanists march with pride for equality

Liverpool Humanist Group are pleased to announce the next in our 2013 season of monthly lectures and discussions with an invited speaker.

Thursday, 11th July 2013 at 7:45pm in The Ship and Mitre, 133 Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2JH.

Please note our new venue. We will meet in the upstairs room.

In the same week in which the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will go to the House of Lords for Report stage, when further amendments will be introduced, some of which will aim to derail or wreck the bill’s progress, Dr Mike Homfray of Edge Hill University will be looking at the tortured history of gay law reform in the UK and considering the role of the Church of England, the Vatican and other religious bodies and of religious belief.

The Anglican Bishops in the House of Lords have been in the vanguard of opposition to this bill and as such the Church of England now leads the voices of reaction against any advances in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in this country.

However, on Friday 5th July 2013, making his first speech to the General Synod of the Church of England as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “The cultural and political ground is changing. Anyone who listened to much of the same-sex marriage bill second reading debate in the House of Lords could not fail to be struck by the overwhelming change of cultural hinterland. Predictable attitudes were no longer there. The opposition to the bill was utterly overwhelmed, with amongst the largest attendance and participation and majority since 1945. There was noticeable hostility to the view of the churches.”

Welby added: “We may or may not like it but we must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality.”

However, the archbishop stopped well short of announcing any change to the church’s line on same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis used his first encyclical published on Friday, 5th July 2013 to reaffirm the importance of sex between husband and wife and emphasise the central role of the family in society. There was no sign of any change in the Catholic Church’s hard line on homosexual unions or any other controversial issues in the encyclical entitledLumen Fidei” (“Light of Faith”).

At the same time, new research for the Westminster Faith Debates, also published on Friday, 5th July 2013, has shown that the churches are not only wildly out of step with the country at large, but also with their own members.

Mike will clearly define what he means by “the gay issue”. He will present the facts: historic; social; scientific; and legal. He will also be talking about the real life experiences of real people. He will consider what a rational, sane and humanistic attitude and ethic to love and human sexuality should be. He will consider the meanings of marriage and partnership, and open a discussion on the proposed law.  Should there be provision for both same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnership in addition to the currently available alternatives? Should Humanist wedding ceremonies be legally recognised?

We will then consider what actions we as individuals and as a group shoud take.

Mike is a sociologist whose doctoral research into the gay and lesbian community in the North-West of England was published as “Provincial Queens” in 2007. He is an associate tutor at Edge Hill University, a tutor/instructor for Laureate Online Education, and is involved with provision of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender awareness training. He is also a gay community activist with a particular interest in policing issues. He is married to David and lives in Crosby.

Dr. Mike Homfray

Dr. Mike Homfray of Edge Hill University

It will be good to see new and old friends at what promises to be a very interesting, stimulating and thought provoking evening.

Bad News: How PR Came to Rule Modern Journalism

Liverpool Humanist Group presents:-

Bad News: How PR Came to Rule Modern Journalism

a talk by Michael Marshall

Date:     Thursday 13th June 2013
:    7.45pm
The Crown Hotel (upstairs room), 43 Lime Street, Liverpool L1 1JQ
Suggested contribution of £3 (£1 students and unwaged)

Michael Gove - Secretary of State for Education

Michael Gove – Secretary of State for Education

Liverpool Humanist Group are pleased to announce the next in our 2013 season of monthly lectures and discussions with an invited speaker.

Thursday, 13th June 2013 at 7:45pm in The Crown Hotel, 43 Lime Street, Liverpool.

As usual, we will meet in the upstairs room.

“You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.”

Everyone knows this, but few people realise this truism extends far beyond the celebrity pages and gossip columns, and spills into real news. Here, the near-invisible influence of Public Relations (PR) companies is often pivotal in deciding what news gets told, and how it gets reported.

Education secretary Michael Gove was roundly – and justifiably – ridiculed recently after it emerged that his criticisms of schoolchildren’s English history knowledge was based on PR research carried out by Premier Inn and UKTV Gold.

However, the mainstream media is itself all too often and all too willingly the conduit for similar PR puff-pieces.

By taking a brief look at the history of modern journalism, and using real examples taken from recent headlines, Michael Marshall will show why you really, really can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

Michael Marshall is the co-founder and vice-president of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and appears on the “Skeptics with a K” and “Be Reasonable” podcasts. Besides organising the national and international 10:23 Campaign against homeopathy, he writes about the often-unsuspected role of PR in modern media. Michael has written for The Times, The Guardian and The New Statesman, and has lectured as part of the Sheffield Hallam University Journalism degree. When he guested recently on BBC Radio 4’s “More or Less” programme, he was introduced by Tim Harford as the country’s “top slayer of light-weight surveys”.

Ben Goldacre once called him “a mighty nerd from Liverpool”, and the self-proclaimed psychic Joe Power once called him something very rude and unprintable.

Michael Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics Society

Michael Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics Society

It will be good to see new and old friends at what promises to be a very interesting, stimulating and thought provoking evening.

Jesus: Man or Myth?

Liverpool Humanist Group presents:-

Jesus: Man or Myth?

a talk by Peter McKenna

Date:     Thursday 11th April 2013
:    7.45pm
The Crown Hotel (upstairs room), 43 Lime Street, Liverpool L1 1JQ
Suggested contribution of £3 (£1 students and unwaged)

The Last Supper by Giampietrino after Da Vinci (circa 1520)

Liverpool Humanist Group are pleased to announce the next in our 2013 season of monthly lectures and discussions with an invited speaker.

Thursday, 11th April 2013 at 7:45pm in The Crown Hotel, 43 Lime Street, Liverpool.

As usual, we will meet in the upstairs room.

Quests for the “historical” Jesus – not the Jesus of faith but a Jesus who actually lived and gave rise to the stories told in the Christian “gospels” – end with a wide range of Jesuses and often with the Jesus that the quester sought from the outset. Most assume that a historical person, clearly identifiable as the gospel Jesus, must have existed, and believers and non-believers alike often fiercely defend their own personal Jesus against Jesus-sceptics and “mythicists”.

Peter McKenna will examine the scant textual evidence available – encompassing the Septuagint, the epistles of Paul, the gospels, other early Christian writings, and Josephus’s histories – in the context of religious belief and the Graeco-Roman world, and will question whether there is sufficient evidence to confidently assert that Jesus existed.

The talk will present original research in an interesting, entertaining and accessible way, and will also discuss what a “historical Jesus” would mean and question whether it matters.

Peter McKenna is well known to many of us as a longstanding member of Liverpool Humanist Group. He is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. Originally from Larne in County Antrim, his first degree at  Liverpool University was in Classics and Ancient Greek.

In December 2010, Peter’s paper “Jesus Nazōraios: hidden truths revealed?” received “Honorable Mention” at the awarding of the 2011 “Mythycist Prize”, which was sponsored by The Mythicists’ Forum, a consortium of prominent New Testament scholars, together with American Atheists, Inc.

His short essay reviewed the linguistic issues surrounding the cognates Nazareth/Nazoraios/Nazarene. It attempted to show how the title “Nazoraion” led to the name of Jesus’ New Testament hometown.

Peter is, however, anxious not to over emphasise the importance of his academic or scholarly credentials. He makes the case that argument from authority is itself a fallacy and the question of Jesus’ historicity is accessible to all.

Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) by Dali (1954)

It will be good to see new and old friends at what promises to be a very interesting, stimulating and thought provoking evening.