Newsletter: December 2019

Seasonal Greetings and Latest News

Meeting: 10th January

Our next meeting will be held on Friday 10th January at 2pm at All Saints Church Hall, Park Road, Southport. The subject of the talk will be VIOLENT VOLCANOES and the presenter is Hazel Clark, a recognised lecturer at the University of Liverpool. Volcanic eruptions are some of planet Earth’s most spectacular displays. However, many volcanoes are located adjacent to major population centres and pose significant risks to life and property. This talk will explore what the hazards are, how volcanoes are monitored, and how we have tried to control them.

NNRs in the Southport Area

We are fortunate in living in an area with an attractive and interesting environment. Most of us are aware of a number of agencies, including the local Council, the National Trust, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and Natural England, with responsibility for maintaining this amenity. However, how many of us appreciated the significance of our locality for science and were aware of how much research and investigation is carried out here? David Mercer’s talk on 22nd November dealt with this aspect and opened our minds to the variety and richness of the work being carried out on our doorsteps.

David is a Senior Reserve Manager with Natural England, a government agency, which manages three local reserves at the Ribble Estuary, Ainsdale and Cabin Hill in Formby. These are designated sites of Special Scientific Interest, containing plants and animals that are of environmental significance, many of them comparatively rare.

In an entertaining and well-presented talk David gave members an insight into the work that is going on and will have encouraged a greater understanding of local ecology. Walks in the estuary, the dunes and woods will now have a greater meaning.

Future Meetings

The first of our seven-session courses was recently completed. Peter Firth’s series of presentations on the Reformation in Europe covered a considerable amount of ground, from the medieval background to the range of Reformation activity in the sixteenth century, leading into the wars of the seventeenth. His knowledge and understanding of this material was impressive, as was his organization and clarification of complex issues. Course members’ evaluations showed both their enjoyment of this experience and a sense of learning achieved.

Our remaining two courses are: THE VICTORIAN COUNTRY HOUSE (Roger Mitchell) starting 20th January and THE SECRET LIFE OF THE HUMAN BRAIN (Alan Potter) starting 17th April.

Our remaining single-session courses are: PHAROAHS AND WARLORDS on 6th March and POETRY WE LIKE on 5th June.

Information about SUES membership and registration for a seven-session course may be obtained from the membership secretary:

John Sharp
51 Rawlinson Road
01704 533698
07740 656057

Sues Committee Meeting: 22nd November 2019

Present – Hazel Fort, Bob Neate, John Sharp, Roger Mitchell
Apologies from Peter Firth and Alan Potter

The record of the meeting held on 26th July 2019 was approved and signed.

With the approval of those present and the prior approval of Peter Firth and Alan Potter, Roger Mitchell was appointed as Secretary. His role will be to service the Committee including arranging dates for committee meetings, organising the agenda, writing the minutes, following up on matters arising and keeping records. John Sharp will continue to administer membership and course enrolment and, with support from Alan Potter, continue to produce and circulate the newsletter and update the website.

Matters arising from the previous committee meeting

  • A new laptop and appropriate software have been purchased along with a spare bulb for the projector. It was agreed that these should be kept by John Sharp so that they can be conveniently taken to All Saints Church Hall for use at meetings.
  • Bob Neate reported that he was still trying to extract the final payment of c£7,500 from the Solicitors dealing with the M.K.Wild bequest.
  • It was agreed that the list of authorised signatories for the Society’s Bank Account should be updated so that Hazel Fort, Bob Neate, John Sharp and Roger Mitchell were signatories with cheques signed by any two. The Bank (HSBC) requires various pieces of documentation, including the constitution of the society and arrangements were made for these to be provided so that Bob Neate could instruct HSBC to make the changes.

2019 – 2020 Programme

John Sharp was able to report that both membership and course enrolment were healthy. The Society has c60 members, attendance at Peter Firth’s course averaged 25 and produced very positive feedback, and the meeting on 22nd November was well attended. There are c30 enrolments for The Victorian Country House and the April Course on the Brain already has enough enrolments to be viable..


It has been confirmed that All Saints Church provides the venue, opens it before the meeting and locks it afterwards. However, the setting out of the room is the responsibility of SUES and is normally done by committee members and members attending the meeting. It is important that no-one should feel under any obligation to assist and that health and safety remain the top priority.

2020 – 2021 Programme

Planning for this needs to begin early in 2020. There was general agreement that current arrangements with Liverpool University should continue for 2020 – 2021 but should be reviewed after the completion of the 2019 – 2020 programme.

Feedback from Peter Firth’s course showed some support for ten (rather than seven) session courses. The committee will review this at the next meeting.

Next Meeting

This has been provisionally arranged for Friday 10th January at 3.30pm after the next lecture meeting at All Saints Church Hall. The Secretary will check with Peter Firth and Alan Potter.

Roger Mitchell


The committee consists of the following members:
Chair: Hazel Fort
Secretary: Roger Mitchell
Treasurer: Bob Neate
Membership Secretary: John Sharp

Post-‘Reformation’ Quiz

While you are digesting the turkey and Christmas pudding, have a go at this theological and religious quiz. It’s not based on Peter Firth’s course, though that might help with some of the answers. You can find the answers by online research,  but try guessing first.

How many English Popes have there been?

0        1        3        6        9

What do the following names signify? (They are given in chronological order.)

Linus        Anacletus    Clement    Evaristus    Alexander

Lithuania was the last pagan country in Europe. It became christianised in which year?

987    1087        1187        1287        1387

How did the following Bibles get their names?

Authorised        Breeches    Vulgate    Wicked    New English

Why did Henry VIII think he was justified in divorcing Catherine of Aragon?

Who was reported to have said the following in 1521 and where?

Hier stehe ich –  ich kann nichts anders?

What’s the difference between transubstantion and consubstantion?

Which Protestant reformer do you associate with each of the following places?

Canterbury    Geneva    Strasbourg    Wittenburg    Zurich

When was the last non-Italian Pope before John Paul II elected?

1422    1522        1622        1722        1822

The Pilgrim Fathers went from where to where via where?

Why did the negotiations which led to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 and which ended the Thirty Years War take place in two separate places (the towns of Munster and Osnabruck)?

Which of the following churches does not have rights in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem?

Anglican        Armenian    Catholic (Latin)     Coptic        Ethiopian   

Greek Orthodox    Syrian

Can a Roman Catholic become King or Queen of England today – or marry into the Royal Family?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *