Wednesday 9 March 2016


This article appeared in the bimonthly The Wychwood magazine in February/March 2016. Website views have since reached 18,000... 

2016 will see the Wychwood Circle entering its fifth year as our own home-grown discussion group, based in Milton’s library but drawing participants from around the Cotswolds - from Bourton to Enstone.  This year we are booking the village hall for our more well-known and sought-after visiting speakers, starting on March 6th with a talk on Mindfulness – a practice which has become ubiquitous from classrooms to Parliament – by Professor Mark Williams, best-known for his much-read guide subtitled ‘Seeking Peace in a Frantic World’.  

The bigger picture
Not for the first time Wychwood Circle has poached ideas from BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day: in April we welcome John Bell of the Iona Community and in May Angela Tilby from Christ Church Oxford.  Back in the more intimate setting of the library we turn on July 3rd to the most horizon-widening topic of all with a discussion of Cosmology and Religion:  the ‘new physics’ of parallel universes and multiple big bangs challenges the boundaries of both science and theology.  Come and help us think this through.
From Paris to the Wychwoods
As we assess the success of the Paris climate talks last December we look forward to a challenging discussion in June introduced by the recently retired White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford.  In addition to his academic career John Broome has worked for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and so is something of an expert on both the ethics and the practical politics of climate change agreements.

Thought for the Day
At Wychwood Circle we discuss a range of serious topics about how we see the world and how we choose to live.  Maybe our defining characteristic, given that we are open to all comers and most topics, is that we are not afraid, in Alastair Campbell’s terms, to ‘do God’.  People come with or without faith and with many different worldviews and experiences.  Discussions, both philosophical and ethical, may be explicitly religious (eg ‘The Faces of God’ – April 10th) or secular (eg ‘The Ethics of Climate Change’ – June 5th).  

Our events always appear on the village website, and our own website keeps the wider world involved in our current topics, attracting to date some 12000 views, from Alaska to Japan.  You can keep up to date with our events and reflections and add your own comments.  Or come along in person any time.