About HSS

Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) is part of a UK, European and wider international movement of people and organisations. In Scotland, HSS members have a clear vision of a secular Scotland, and the activities that HSS can pursue to achieve that end.

We are a registered charity in Scotland, and governed by a Board of Trustees elected by members. The day-to-day work of the Society is undertaken by a team of staff and volunteers overseen by the Senior Management Team.

Our annual accounts and achievements set out how we raise, spend and invest the donations and fees we receive from members and celebrants. 2015 Signed HSS Accounts

Our vision

Humanist Society Scotland seeks a future in which:

  • The worth, dignity and autonomy of every person is respected and individual freedom is balanced with social responsibility and a duty of care for future generations;
  • Scottish civic institutions are democratic and human rights are developed, embedded and protected;
  • Ethical and moral problems are addressed with compassion, knowledge and reason;
  • No belief system (religious or not) should have, nor expect, privilege in the democratic process. In effect we seek a secular Scotland.

Individual humanists will differ in the importance they give to different activities, such as seeking to improve human rights or the development of humanist ceremonies. For some, humanism is primarily a life stance that influences the way we behave as individuals; some see humanism as being primarily a belief system or a set of coherent philosophical positions; others view humanism as a series of values which should inform public policy. What unites HSS members is the basis of their life stance.

Our activities

Humanist Society Scotland exists to:

  • promote and establish a secular society;
  • promote the provision of secular education;
  • promote, provide and develop Humanist Ceremonies;
  • extend the contributions made by Humanists to a wide range of social, civic and health care provision;
  • maintain, develop and empower membership of the Society to carry out these activities and any other activities which promote and support the Objects of the Society; and
  • work with other Humanist associations (and like-minded organisations) in the UK, Europe and internationally.

HSS and the British Humanist Association (BHA)

HSS and BHA seek to work closely together, particularly on policy matters that extend across the UK, and internationally. Our respective work on Education and Ceremonies is quite separate reflecting the distinctive legislation and organisation of these matters in Scotland.

HSS supports local groups in Scotland. BHA supports groups in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Joining HSS is a distinct step from joining BHA. There is no joint membership but a number of HSS members also join BHA. In the event of a member from Scotland joining BHA (when they thought they were joining HSS) we have good links with staff in BHA to remedy that action.

The history of HSS

The Humanist Society Scotland was formed in 1989 in response to a rising demand for a nationwide Scottish organisation that was open to all.

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HSS today

Humanism in Scotland has a long history going back well before the formation of the charity in 1989.

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Head and heart

What is Humanism?

Humanists are people who share common values, such as science and rational enquiry, and who seek to live ethical lives based on reason and compassion.

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You and us

Why should I get involved?

We are a membership charity, with over 14,000 members from Stornoway to Stranraer. Get involved today to help make Scotland a more secular, rational and socially just country.

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Here and now

What events are taking place near me?

We organise a range of events around the country. If you're interested in finding out more about HSS, coming along to one of our events is a great way to learn more.

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