(Incidentally, one of the things that started me off being non-religious was asking my mother when I was about 9 why my book on dinosaurs didn’t fit in with what the Sunday School teacher was saying about Adam & Eve. She took me to the vicar who explained that the Bible contained a lot of stories that weren’t supposed to be treated as being actually true. They were just there to explain complicated things to people before they understood about science. I remember being profoundly shocked... why were adults lying to me?)
Fascinating! One thing I don't understand about myself is that, as far I can remember, I wasn't bothered in any way by the clear contradiction between the ideas I was hearing from adults. The creation account in Genesis on the one hand and 'millions of years before humankind existed dinosaurs roamed the earth' on the other (and sometimes these conflicting stories came from the same mouth - my teacher's. I don't remember being told specifically that the Bible was just stories but I seemed to know it, yet I also "knew" that all the stuff about the trinity and about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins was true, even though it was so incomprehensible to me that I didn't feel able to ask a question it. I just assumed that understanding would come as I got older. What happened instead was that I realised it was a load of poppycock.
It was interesting to see that the first place many Polish incomers visited when they came to work in the UK was the local Catholic Church. They used it to plug into a social network, a job centre, as an advice centre and a way of accessing financial help – all the things that English churches did a hundred years ago. Of course, if the next government destroys much of the welfare state, it may be that the poor are thrown back on the ‘generosity’ of the church?
I have a fantasy that one day any humanist that migrates to the UK, or any humanist that just moves from part of the UK to another - will able to find at their local humanist centre, a place to find friendship and support. One day, maybe...