Who We Are

We are a Branch of Humanists UK – if you are a member or supporter of Humanists UK then you are also a member or supporter of York Humanists. A member pays a subscription to Humanists UK, while a supporter has asked to be on the mailing list. If you aren’t already known to Humanists UK but would like to be on the mailing list for our events, please make your request by emailing info@humanists.uk.

The group began life in January 2005 as the North Yorkshire Humanist Group, and became the York branch of Humanists UK in 2021. We meet regularly to discuss issues of interest to humanists, and to support national and local campaigns that are relevant to humanists.

What We Do

Our events normally consist of a talk by an invited speaker, although we do occasionally have debates, video showings or social nights.  Over the years we have had dozens of speakers, talking on a wide mix of subjects.

Meetings finish around 9pm, followed by a trip to a nearby bar. We also meet up socially throughout the year with restaurant visits, a book group, a philosophy group, and other events.

Anyone can attend our meetings, but we do ask for a voluntary donation of £2 to help towards the room hire costs.  

York Humanists attracts people from a wide area, including York, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Scarborough, Whitby, and Pickering.

We also have a social links with the Secular Humanist Association of New York and Victoria Humanists in Australia.

How to Find Us

We usually meet in York on the first Tuesday of the month, at 7.30pm in the Denham Room of the Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

York rail station is about 5 to 10 minutes walk away from Priory Street, and the nearest public car park is at Nunnery Lane. There is also some local street parking.

Book Group

Our Book Group meets in a pub every couple of months to chat about our latest book selection. To see previous book choices, have a look in our archives.

If you’d like to join the group, please contact us and we’ll add you to the mailing list.

Philosophy Group

Our Philosophy Group meets in a pub every couple of months for an informal discussion on a chosen topic.

Members take it in turn to initiate a discussion on a topic of their choosing, usually circulating in advance one or two references or short papers relevant to the topic. Previous topics have included subjects such as Happiness, Marx, and Nuclear Deterrence.

If you’re interested in joining, please contact us and we’ll add you to the mailing list for upcoming topics and reading.

York Humanists – Vision Statement 2023-2026

York Humanists is a branch of Humanists UK that exists to provide a home for humanists in York, Harrogate and all of the towns and villages within the York and Harrogate UK postcodes. This home will establish a community of belonging for humanists, a welcome to the non-religious needing to find a positive expression for their atheism or agnosticism, and a friendly, outward looking group for those who don’t share our views.

Over the coming years we foresee, and will work towards, attracting people of every type regardless of ethnicity, sexual identity or orientation, age or (dis)ability to the humanist fold. We will host a variety of events that will seek to  attract people that truly represent the demographic composition of our area.

We will stimulate reasoned debate, provide interest and fun. We’ll work towards ensuring that humanists and the non-religious have a fair influence and representation in the way our society is run. We will aim to ensure that humanist voices are heard and that humanists are seen.

We will always conduct ourselves in a manner that pursues and fulfils humanist values of reason, kindness and personal fulfilment. 

By the end of 2026, it’s our firm intention that we will have furthered this vision. This is what we are about and we expect to be judged by our progress.

York Humanists Executive Team Values

Mutual Support: In terms of helping each other personally and with York Humanist tasks and activities, whilst avoiding groupthink.

Commitment: We will undertake activities and tasks that we agree to in a timely and enthusiastic manner.

High Standards: We will do our utmost to act to the highest standards that we can.

Compassion: This shall always be our watchword for how we treat each other and those outside of this team.

Honesty of Our Limitations: Whilst we shall endeavour to push ourselves we will never expect ourselves or others to exceed their personal limitations.

Constructive Appreciation: We will remain open to receiving feedback and to giving it but will do so constructively and objectively for what we agree and disagree with.

Personal Fulfilment: We will cease being Exec Team members when we no longer feel personally fulfilled by our activity.

Fun: We are here to enjoy ourselves and help others to do so too.

Decisiveness: We will make considered decisions without procrastination.

Moving Forward: We will always attempt to move forward rather than stagnate, in pursuit of our York Humanists Branch vision, strategy and goals.