As you may already have read on our home page, Gloucestershire Humanists have a long history. In contrast, I am a relative newcomer.

As a group we do not share the same opinions nor is our stance on any issue proscribed from ‘on high’ but we do share a common methodology as we seek to enhance the quality of our lives through human reason and through use of the scientific method. As humanists, we want to live life to the full now and we strive to do good to others without God.

When I joined Gloucestershire Humanists I found the group to be open, friendly and welcoming. Please think seriously about the strength and support that you may be able to find from our group should you decide to join us. We would be strengthened by your contribution too.

Humanists are people who get involved and make a difference but we also find strength in our solidarity with each other. Our members vary in age and they come from a wide range of backgrounds and professional experience. Together we are involved with all sorts of voluntary work and members quietly involve themselves with the county’s cultural scene. Personally, I have an interest in architectural conservation, local history, LGBT issues, and much more.

My path to humanism has not been straightforward and I have spent twenty years of my life as a Roman Catholic priest. Should you find it helpful to read more of my own story then do read the article I wrote for the New Humanist magazine.

My home is in Cheltenham, a town that I fell in love with when I was a teenager from Nailsworth, and today, I still have a huge appreciation for this county and its community which embraces the Cotswolds, the Forest and the Vale. My own family is rooted in this area and its landscapes have been an inspiration throughout my life. I hope that future generations will be able to enjoy it as much I have done and it is my dream that it may become even more beautiful and an even better place for us to live happy lives.


Richard Barton, Chair of Glos Hums. May 2017