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Thursday 3 March 2016, 15:11
By John Baxter

ANVIL discussion group

Are you interested in taking part in open, thoughtful discussion? Then you may enjoy coming to a session of ANVIL.

We believe we have developed a unique format that works to promote our aim, which is to hammer away and explore serious issues (ethical, political, religious, cultural, social and environmental) that face us and keep on resurfacing. We want to “think the unthinkable” in an open, positive and considered way by investigating the work of a speaker and discussing the points raised. The aim of each session is not to achieve consensus, but to understand each other, explore and test opinions.

ANVIL is a structured discussion group. “Membership” simply means sending in your name, email and phone number for our circulation list. You are not expected to attend sessions that do not interest you. There are 16 places open for each session. To book a place at a session send an email to Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To cover our expenses bring £3 (fefreshments, room hire, non-local speakers – travel).

John Baxter, Chair and Secretary. Tel: 01963 34537

To see how our discussion format works and to read ANVIL papers for future and past meetings visit

2016 Programme

We have six meetings during the year at two monthly intervals, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays 7.15pm – 10-00pm, in the Quaker Barn, Wincanton High Street. The dates have been chosen not to overlap with school holidays or half terms and to give those with regular bookings on Tuesday or Wednesday the chance to come to some sessions.

Previous discussions:

Wednesday 20th January – Susan Maltin (Moore): Why Study History?
Susan Moore works as a freelance professional historical researcher after graduating from the University of St. Andrew in 1974. Interest in Chancery Proceedings and other legal records soon followed, although Susan has worked on a wide range of historical subjects over the years.

Still to come:

Tuesday 15th March – Jennifer Armstrong: Is the Criminal Justice System fit for Purpose?
Jennifer is a magistrate and works extensively in various parts of the criminal justice system.

Wednesday 18th May – Christopher Maltin: Climate Change in the Light of Recent Negotiations.
Christopher is chairman of Biomethane Ltd and has extensive and ongoing experience of national and international efforts to deal with climate change.

Tuesday 12th July – Dr Derek Hudson: Population Growth. The next 40-50 years.
Derek, with his background in Maths and Statistics, has been exploring how the complex picture of population growth has been moving.

Tuesday 13th September - Julie Arliss: Big Data and the Death of Individualism.
As lecturer, teacher and founder of the Academy Conferences Julie has become increasingly concerned about what the collection of big data is doing to us.

Tuesday 15th November – Jonathan Pearce: Islam and Liberal Democracy. How Compatible Are They?
Teacher, writer and speaker on Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, Jonathan has made a careful study of the teaching and practice of Islam.


Posts: 2
Jennifer Armstrong. Read Her Notes
Reply #1 on : Mon March 07, 2016, 10:34:00
Our next session on Tuesday 15th March is a really challenging topic. How our society deals with offenders. Sign up to come but first go to and read the points she will be discussing. Do you know how many we now lock up and how much that costs per prisoner?
Posts: 2
Is Our Criminal Justice System Fit for Purpose?
Reply #2 on : Fri March 18, 2016, 10:37:11
Jennifer gave us an excellent carefully researched and reasoned paper showing how our criminal justice system is an extremely expensive failure. visit to read the whole paper.

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