Nexus is naturally a great spiritual space. Many people find it a calm, relaxed place in the city centre, ‘an oasis’. Our spirituality is broadly Christian and we offer a number of gentle and inclusive spiritual activities including a spirituality film night where we watch a film and then discuss issues that are raised.
Our minister Al Lowe is also available on a regular basis to discuss spiritual or pastoral issues. If you would like to speak to him please call the cafe or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sanctus 1, a Christian community that tries to find God in a contemporary way also meet here on Wednesdays and Sundays at different times in the Month, please see the Sanctus1 website for more information. Sanctus 1 also use Nexus as a base for its chaplaincy work. www.sanctus1.co.uk
Sanctus gaming evening
Welcome to Nexus Gaming Group – a collection of people who enjoy playing tabletop games and meet once a month to share that enthusiasm.
The group meets on the 2nd Monday of each month with a start at 7pm and finish at 10pm
more info – nexusgg.freeforums.net
Here at Nexus we care what you think about topical issues! That’s why we give you the opportunity to voice your opinions, with our monthly spirituality questionnaire!
Our current ‘Issue of the month’ is: LOVE AND ROMANCE! If you want to have your say, pop into the cafe and fill in a questionnaire.
Here are your responses from previous questionnaires…..
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: HOW MUCH OF IT IS A GOOD THING?
In a healthy society, how much should we be free to express views that others might find offensive or politically incorrect?
“We should express our views but in a context that is least offensive, holding debates/talks is a positive step in order to achieve this”.
“In a healthy society no-one would be offended cause they will know their worth and that everyone is on their own path, no judgement”
“All opinions should be valid, offensive or not. The only thinking that should be censored is death threats and threats of violence against others”.
“Follow Confucius says: Speak no evil, see no evil, listen no evil”.
How should we as a society decide where the balance lies between our right to free speech and our responsibility not to deliberately hurt/offend?
“As a society we can never control opinions of individuals, each person decides for themselves”.
“Knowledge equals freedom, so free speech could be harmful to those that don’t feel accepted because they only know conditional love. They can heal only by others applying unconditional love”.
“We should not go about our lives being afraid to offend. People should be able to express any opinion they want (we need thicker skins!).
“Treat people like you want to be treated”
What part should the law play in controlling free speech? Is the law about right/too controlling/too liberal? Is it applied properly?
“The law should be active in controlling free speech because free speech sometimes turns into factions of society/terrorist ideologies”.
“The system is generally broken so one cog is not going to fix anything”.
“The law should only interject in violent threats/plotting violent hate crimes, etc”.
“Human rights. Education rather than law to control”.
Is Political Correctness a force for good or ill in our society? Why?
“A double edged sword. Necessary sometimes but excessive as well. People are easily offended”.
“Politics is a force of ill. Control over another does not exist naturally so enforcing it on humanity shouldn’t be a norm”.
“Political Correctness is a burden to our society and is creating a lot of issues in today’s society”.
“Political Correctness is a force for good but needs to be controlled”.
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF CHRISTMAS?
How do you feel about Christmas, and why?
“Fairly ambivalent – it’s just a retail opportunity these days – money is the god of many”.
“Kinda excited, kinda sad, cause then it’ll be over”.
“It’s a welcome break from work, a chance to see family and generally laze around to do what you enjoy – food and wine and books”
“A pleasant time of year where family comes together”.
“Stressed and unfestive”.
How do you cope with the pressures Christmas brings – to spend excessively, to have a great time, to conform to family expectations, etc?
“There’s only pressures if you allow it to become a stressful event. You reap what you sow”.
“That’s actually my favourite thing about Christmas”.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all”.
“I cope well, and I think having children makes the experience a lot tougher to deal with”.
Does Christmas have any spiritual significance for you – if so, in what way?
“None at all – I can remember believing in a god and how wondrous it was – not anymore. We, ourselves, are gods”.
“Religious and personal, it’s always been my favourite celebration”.
“Not particularly. I think most people have lost the spiritual significance of Christmas”.
What (if anything) do you do to make Christmas meaningful?
“I do nothing at all – the desire to do that has all gone”.
“Decorate my house and buy presents”
“Try to value family time, show others I value them”.
“Spend time with family, sharing gifts”.
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF LIFE?!
Is there any purpose to life – if so, what is it?
“At the risk of sounding nihilistic – no. It’s up to each person to find a purpose – something to live for, that keeps us going through hard times, keeps us happy and doesn’t harm the world”.
“Whatever you make it. Mostly, don’t make the world worse, for yourself or others.”
“The purpose of life is to share it. We were made to connect, the purpose is not to be alone but to feel part of something bigger than yourself.”
“The most essential thing in life is to establish a heartfelt communication with others. Because there’s nothing else to do. Also, to be creative and to learn as much as possible. Keep busy.”
“To be happy”.
“To fill your days with experiences that make you laugh, blush or gasp in awe. To help build a world where everyone is empowered to do the same”.
“The purpose of life is to find purpose, in whatever way suits you – religion, love, etc”.
How do you understand the nature of life – is it random and indifferent, or nurturing and benevolent?
“Both, objectively. Subjectively, it can feel like one or the other, this depends on your state of mind. Each one of us is insignificant in a sense, and yet we make up a tiny part of the universe, and so we matter; the universe does not care about us, yet it cares for us”.
“Mixture of both. Where people find meaning is a matter of choice. Nothing is inherently meaningful or meaningless. It just affects things”.
“It is random and indifferent – stuff just happens – but at the same time, it’s the sense you make of it. You can choose how you see it – benevolent or evil.”
“I think it is random and indifferent, nature in general doesn’t really have a moral centre, humans have created the idea of morality through years of developing consciousness and ultimately, a conscience.”
“Nurturing and benevolent. We learn from our worst experiences!”
“Depends on the world you build. Horrible things can happen to the loveliest people but the world is not against you and you can build a benevolent bubble”.
“It is a process that has its ups and downs but you have the power to make your own way in life”.
Where do you get your sense of morality and ethics from?
“Instinct, mostly. I don’t need to think to know what is good. Though in practice it can require deep thought. Sometimes I may seem harsh and uncaring but this could be for longer term benefit – eg training a dog or setting boundaries with children.
“How it affects myself and the world around me. I rejected the religion I was taught as it never believed this. It conned people into thinking abuse could be a “good” thing. No.”
“My mum and dad. They taught me how to FEEL what is right and wrong. Also from somewhere in my gut, I feel sick when things are wrong.”
“From my own sense of being alive. I treat animals and people alike with mutual respect, how I would wish to be treated”.
“My family, my culture, and my own beliefs”.
“In part from the Bible. I no longer believe and the church I don’t visit, but am forever fond of. But more my parents’ endless generosity”.
“My peers, the society I want to be part of. I don’t find religion a guide in my moral or ethical decisions”.
What is more important, to live a happy life, or to live a good life, and why?
“I think it depends. Some people are so wise and virtuous that they sacrifice a little or a lot of their happiness for a greater good – Gandhi is an example. I would encourage ‘lesser mortals’ to be happy if that is more important, of course taking care not to harm the world and others”.
“Live a good life and it will inevitably make you happier, as long as that doesn’t come at the cost of a complete lack of self preservation”.
“What’s the difference? A happy life is a good life – a good life is a happy life. Why? It’s the whole point.”
“It depends on the individual’s view of happiness and goodness. Happiness may be different for a psychopath than it is for a philanthropic person. It’s based on a subjective view of existence”.
“To live a happy life. Being happy is having a good life.”
“I hope a good life would be a happy one, just make sure it’s our own definition of good”.
“In my opinion, a happy life rather than a good life, as good implies following unwritten rules on how to live my life”.
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: EDUCATION – WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF IT?
What do you think is the most important purpose of education?
“Not to teach us WHAT to think but to teach us HOW to think.”
“To gain a rounded view of the world.”
“To keep generations disciplined, in a routine, open minded achievers, and leaders for the future.”
“To learn to love to learn, to want to expand imagination”.
“To encourage the ability to think for oneself and make judgments based on knowledge and values”.
“To teach the implications of knowledge.”
“To improve society as a whole by helping people reach their potential.”
“To give curiosity.”
“To education and encourage a receptive learning attitude.”
“To learn new skills and to gain new ideas, which will inevitably help better yourself.”
“To ensure that EVERYONE has equal opportunities and to leach life skills and values. Assessments need to change – less pressure, spread exams.”
“Love of learning. Ability to educate yourself if you choose”.
If you were Education Minister, what would you change about the way young people are educated?
“Make it more holistic. Cookie-cutter approach wastes a lot of children’s potential. Teach life skills, finances, mental well-being”.
“Include mental health awareness”.
“I would narrow the gap between the privileged and those in poorer schools.”
“Exams are a test of memory, not intelligence. Assessment should be conversations/presentations.”
“Remove formal testing until absolutely necessary”.
“Not teaching one side but to acknowledge all truths and teach critical thinking”.
“More basic health education, including sexual health and mental health. Create a more respectful environment”.
“Schools focus on exams too much. The focus should be on the child, not on the school or grades.”
“More open, relaxed and tailored to different learning styles”.
“I would implement a system such as the one used by countries such as Finland. We are all individuals and we learn and absorb in different ways.”
“More women’s studies (politics/history). Teach to question things – lose strict regimes.”
“Reduce testing and bureaucracy for teachers”.
What’s the difference between being clever and being wise? Can wisdom be taught?
“Cleverness is knowing things. Wisdom is knowing what you do not know. Wisdom is not taught, it is found. Found in hardships, and mistakes in life.”
“Experiential learning. Volunteer and give to charity.”
“Wisdom I think comes from experience, whereas sometimes clever does too, but you need to be clever to be wise.”
“Definitely – it can be practiced. Nobody should be told they don’t have potential”.
“Wisdom comes from experience – this doesn’t necessarily mean age.”
“Wisdom is knowledge applied.”
“Only by living”.
“Wise is the ability to use knowledge to make an informed decision, using common sense too. Clever is the ability to know the correct answer or choice, but not apply/act on this decision. Wisdom is shown through actions, not taught.”
“Clever is specific to an area or subject, whereas being wise encompasses life, feelings, emotions, etc.”
“Clever shouldn’t be such an umbrella term – intelligence comes in different forms. Use what you know”.
“Clever is knowing the right answer; wise is knowing if it matters”.
Should the education system have a role to play in a young person’s spiritual and moral development? In what way?
“Yes, but not in a traditional ‘make the child moral’ way, which is authoritarian. Teach them to be accountable”.
“Yes, inclusive education creates tolerance and respect for others.”
“Yes, in giving the learner all the resources and experience to make informed choices and decisions.”
“Not explicitly. But to give them time to explore this for themselves.”
“Yes – space should be provided to contextualise learning and experience within own (and others’) value systems.”
“Yes, it is important. Develop how to feel life. Going with the flow.”
“Yes – it should show all kinds of religions and encourage students to accept spirituality if it feels right for them.”
“Yes – in an unbiased way, with empathy for different views”.
“No – it is the parents’ role.”
“I think the education system should play a subtle role and let the individual find their own way.”
“Let them know about all walks of life/assert right and wrong when bullying occurs”.
“Yes, learning that your beliefs are as valid as clothes and you can change them if they don’t make you happy”.
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: CELEBRITY CULTURE….WHY DO WE LOVE THE FAMOUS?
It’s often said that we live in a celebrity obsessed culture. Why do you think so many people are fascinated by the famous?
“Most people have a desire to be rich, as well as to be noticed or heard.”
“It gives people a sense of escapism where they can dream that their lives are extravagant”.
“They see a prime example of someone who has an exciting life that they want to have, or they do something amazing”.
“Because having so much attention is a way of being secure in one’s existence – people don’t forget dead celebrities!”
“Because they think the people with the most money have the best quality of life, and they want role models”.
“They live better lives; they are an aspiration; some are fit!”
“Because it’s easy entertainment; because it’s pushed by the media.”
“They fill in the space the Royals once filled, but with the chance that we can become famous and rich”.
Apart from wealth, what’s attractive about being famous?
“Your dreams and ideas seem to become more accepted and encouraged.”
“People listen to what you have to say and care about your opinions.”
“The attention famous people receive, also the feeling of doing something good with the power they have and the feeling of meaningfulness that they gain”.
“People believing that what you have to say is important.”
“Attention, freedom…seemingly unrestricted by work contracts”.
“Not having to deal with the consequences of our actions”
“Having loads of people wanting you”.
“Affirmation and lots of positive feedback”.
“Not just being a face in the crowd – but recognition and adulation, and the surface value sheen of glamour”.
Is fame something to aspire to? Why/why not?
“In my opinion, no, but I can see why people aspire to it”.
“I don’t think it is, whereas pursuing a dream that leads to fame is much more rewarding.”
“I think for some it is a good thing to want, but like anything, it can have a very negative impact on people’s lives”.
“No, because power corrupts”.
“It’s up to the individual”.
“No – too much pressure!”
“Affirmation on its own isn’t something to aspire to, but being famous for achieving something is worth respect”.
“No – but it is good to recognised and respected within your field/specialism”.
Which celebrity do you most admire and what is it you admire about them?
“I don’t admire any “celebs” but I admire public figures such as Caroline Lucas MP, a lady that is passionate but also a lady that supports good causes”.
“Billy Lunn from The Subways as he doesn’t let the fame get to his head, and continues to follow his dream”.
“Tyler Joseph – he helps people with his music and shows such maturity and awareness in what he does”.
“Beyonce because she supported the Black Lives Matter campaign”.
“Aziz Ibrahim because he works in prisons and looks after new talent”.
“Kate Green MP cos she’s freshhhh!”
“I admire Charlie Brooker – comedian and a good medium for reflecting on important issues”.
“Patrick Wolf (semi famous) – made me see more than straight and gay – set me on the road….”
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: THE EU REFERENDUM….HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT EUROPE?
How would you describe your sense of national identity?
“British. Not European!”
“I wouldn’t. I’m not particularly patriotic in all honesty”.
“Northern, English, then British. I tick the ‘White British’ box. Truly don’t identify with “European””.
“I am represented as a white British teen who speaks English”.
How would you describe how deeply connected you feel to our European neighbours?
“Not at all”.
“Being a resident in Manchester opens your eyes to multi culturalism and makes you feel more European!”
“Quite separate really – due to geography”.
“I love my European neighbours but the best vote for me would be voting out”.
Is there a “Soul of Europe”? What should Europe be about – economics, or something deeper?
“No. There’s no ‘Soul of Europe’. This is an ontological fallacy”.
“Money – that’s the soul of Europe”.
“Being united is the soul of Europe”.
“The EU should be about freedom, the environment, and passing laws and regulations that benefit people in our society”.
“I feel like Europe is Europe and we are the UK. Soul of Europe – France?”
“I think Europe should be something deeper like a piece of music or a song to represent us as one”.
What is it that connects us to other human beings of different nationalities, race, culture, etc?
“We’re human, we share a history”.
“Altruism, mutual interest, and loneliness”.
“The Universe; we are one, we are whole”.
“Money, trade and business, and we bleed the same blood”.
“Music, laughter, sports, generosity, curiosity”.
“Love, curiosity, common interests”.
“Their personalities mainly, but I would have to get to know them before judgment”.
“We have the ability to kill each other”
“We’re all different countries, traditions, faiths, it’s nonsense to bunch us together”.
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: THE QUEEN IS IS 90! How do you feel about our Royal Family?
What do you think of the Queen? Inspirational? Irrelevant? Symbol of an outdated system?
“I love the tradition surrounding the queen. She brings the UK a lot of money due to tourism. A lot of people forget that”.
“She’s irrelevant. Does nothing. She’s just a face”.
“She’s had a nice life”
“The Queen is an irrelevant symbol for the majority of people in Britain. She represents one small portion of the population (the wealthy) in a system dominated by inequality”.
“It’s all about anarchy”.
The Queen believes God put her in the job. How do you feel about one person “reigning over us”?
“I don’t see it like that. Ultimately the Queen has less power over the UK than the Prime Minister”.
“It’s stupid. All she does is reign on our parade”.
“She doesn’t have much of a choice.”
“She got that role because of the death of her father. “God” doesn’t choose anything. I think if we want equal social rights, monarchy shouldn’t exist”.
“It’s a fascist regime”
How do you feel about the class system – does it still exist? Do we all have our ordained place in society?
“The class system still does and most probably always will exist. There will always be people who earn more money feeling more entitled”.
“It exists, but doesn’t have to. Turn Buckingham Palace into Council flats!”
“Of course it exists. That’s the difference between everybody – to belong to one or another part of a social class”.
How do you feel about our national anthem suggesting we ask “God save the Queen”. What about the rest of us?
“It’s a bit of a mouthful – God save our queen AND us! It came about early on when the queen/king was seen as a saviour of the people”.
“Maybe it’s the God of the Old Testament, or maybe it’s actually Satan!”
“It’s something that people learned and kept in their memory. Usually nobody realises how unfair and outmoded this affirmation is”.
“I know my place. God bless you, your Majesty. Long may you reign over me!”
ISSUE OF THE MONTH: HEALTH