About

logoEngaging Isssues is a forum for everyone who wants to consider significant social and ethical issues of our day. Engaging Issues aspires to be an open, inclusive, questioning assembly, where we can speak our minds freely and respectfully. It may challenge our assumptions and can be uncomfortable in the pursuit of encouraging greater understanding, integrity and tolerance of differing views.

Engaging Issues events have taken place in Church Stretton, Shropshire, every year since 2005. We have about 9 events per year, between September and February.

Where

Many of the talks in the 2021-22 season will take place at the United Reformed Church, High Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6BY. See map. Some parking is available in the church car park, and there is a lot more parking close to the Co-Operative supermarket, 300m to the north of the church in the centre of Church Stretton. Some of the talks will be online only. See details of each talk for where it is being held.

Meetings in the URC will be held in accordance with any health guidelines prevailing at the time — please bring a facemask, and cooperate with the stewards.

All of the talks (including those taking place at the URC) are available online for you to join in at the time of the talk by Zoom. Zoom attendance is by invitation only. Make sure you're on the mailing list to get notified of meeting dates and joining details. If you're not on the mailing list, you won't get an invitation to the meetings.

Zoom etiquette

If you are on the email contact list, you'll get an invitation at about 7pm on the evening of the meeting with your joining instructions (a link to click). When you arrive at the meeting (log on), you'll have to wait for the meeting administrator to let you in. Virtual "doors open" from 7:15pm. Please aim to be in your virtual seat (logged on with Zoom) by 7:25pm. Meetings will start promptly at 7:30pm, and there may be a delay in admitting you if you arrive after that.

If you're new to Zoom, don't panic — most people find it easy to get on with, and it works on pretty much any internet-connected device, including computer, laptop, tablet, and smart phone.

When

Meetings start at 7:30pm and end at about 9pm. Meetings always include time for questions.

How much

For each meeting, whether attended in-person or online, we ask for a £3 donation on the door to cover expenses. (PayPal deduct a fixed charge for each online donation we get, so if you want to donate for a few meetings all at once, that's fine by us because it means we get deducted once – we just respectully ask that you remember to do it.)

Getting in touch and staying informed

See the contact page for how to get in touch, and to sign up to receive occasional updates and reminders of forthcoming events.

Who organises it all?

Engaging Issues is organised and published by a non-profit-making, small and informal group of local friends with only small axes to grind.

The views of the speakers...

...are not necessarily those of the organising committee. The organisers are a disparate group of people, who occasionally surprise themselves by agreeing with each other. Occasionally. But the disagreement is part of the fun, and the tension of the dialectic helps us discover more about ourselves and the world around us.

The speakers' views are their own, and we give each of them the invitation to come and challenge us, or even provoke us; bring us issues that we can engage with, and quite possibly diagree with. Half of every Engaging Issues evening is always given over to Q&A so that we can inquisitively and politely engage with our speakers and test their views as well as our own.

The Engaging Issues invitation extends to all with a willingness to learn: join in with an open mind and generous attitude.