After an informal planning meeting on Zoom to discuss our future we agreed ANVIL will need to operate through ZOOM until we are all vaccinated. While ZOOM meetings can inhibit person to person chats when in a group, and need getting used to, familiarity makes it easier.
Zoom also gives us new opportunities as association can be open to anyone living anywhere, and speakers can be invited who are not local.

To become an Associate simply send me your name, email and phone number to  You are not expected to attend sessions that do not interest you and no costs are involved.  Zoom meetings will be monthly on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm.


13th January.  Consciousness.  Proposer John Baxter, Responder Greg Atkins. Now referred to as the greatest problem facing the sciences, philosophy and theology,  Consciousness is a fascinating topic and we all have views on it.

17th February.  David Olusoga’s book Black and British, a Forgotten History will be introduced by Hazel Hudson.  A chance to think about the history and its consequences of slavery, empire and Black Lives Matter Here. No special responder so we can all have time to share our thoughts with each other.

17th March.  Julie Arliss.  Euthanasia and Assisted Dying.  Time to look at the whole subject again.  Responder to be decided.

14th April.  The “Historical Jesus”?  David Warden chair of Dorset Humanists. Two Responders, John Baxter and the Revd Alison Way.

12th May.  Dave Wrathall.  Polarisation, Fake News and Information Overload.  It is not just Trump who has been at it but is it now worse?

June 16th, Big Money Corruption and Quantitative Easing.  Dominic Lacey and Graham Stride as Covid 19 makes the rich much richer and the poor much worse off.

After that we may be back to the Quaker Barn for:
July 14th ,Sept 15th, and Nov. 17th.  Speakers and subjects to be decided. Suggestions welcome.

How to make the most of ZOOM.  Once the meeting starts mute your mike.  Press bar to unmute and join in.  Make sure you are facing your light source, window or electric.  If the light is behind you, people see little more than a silhouette.  Check your whole face is visible and about three feet from your phone or computer mike and you are comfortably seated. Too close and your image may blur.

Format:  Experience has shown ANVIL has evolved a format that has worked very well and should work on ZOOM.  It is not an adversarial debate format but an alternative points of view format which is applied flexibly to suit subject, speaker and associate participants.

A Preliminary paper,  BBC Sounds, Iplayer or UTube programme link will be sent to you to check out before the Zoom meeting.
Subject Promoter speaks on Zoom on the topic 20-40 minutes, often with Power Point.  Participants on mute to cut out unwanted background interruptions.
Session Responder speaks on Zoom 10-20 mins.
Participants that signal are invited to express their view on the subject uninterrupted for up to 5 mins.
General discussion; to contribute, speakers signal with a wave to the chairperson and use the touch bar to unmute. We keep polite but do not hold back from disagreeing!

We have sufficient funds to pay for a one-year subscription to Zoom, so we do not need to complete our meeting within 40 mins as their free service does. Our aim will be to end by 9p.m.

Since lockdown I have become much more aware of the amazing range of sources for thoughtful discussion that are freely available, starting of course with WIKIPEDIA.

For video BBC Iplayer, also BBC Sounds.  This really is an amazing development.  One can now from the BBC Sounds website search for any radio programme and replay it on laptop or smartphone whenever you want it.  For example, all of Melvyn Bragg’s In our Time programmes are available.

UTUBE.  Again, almost any speaker of significance (and many who are of none!) on any subject can now be heard expounding their views on UTube. Also the excellent TED talks.  20 mins by top speakers on relevant topics.

There will be no charge for meetings until we return to the Quaker Barn.

Please let me know if you would like to remove your name from the Associate list.

John Baxter  tel 01963 34537 email

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