The Society is established for the object of promoting the advancement of education and the widening of public interest in and appreciation of any form of literature, science, the arts and public affairs provided that no activity involving unbalanced discussion either of party politics or of theology likely to provoke division or controversy shall be included in the pursuit of these objects.

In achieving these objectives during the last 200 years or more, the Society has set high standards in subject choice and audience participation in its programme. This reputation is an important factor in attracting prominent speakers who are active in significant contemporary issues.

The Lit and Phil has always been an outward looking organisation and has never been an exclusive club for intellectuals but for people with lively minds and a common interest in learning about and commenting on a range of topics of broad appeal. Among the Lit and Phil’s continuing strengths is the wide and varied range of occupations and interests of its members. Membership of the Society now numbers some 400 and is spread throughout Greater Manchester and the North West of England. As a charitable society, the members play an important part in promoting education to the wider public of all ages including students of school age. This important remit is carried out using lectures, symposia, seminars, demonstrations and public interviews. The Manchester Lit and Phil is not a private or Government Body, but a Membership based Charity which depends upon its members to continue to support the cause and of course, enjoy participating in the organised events. The Lit and Phil positively welcomes new members, many of whom join after attending events as guests of the Society.


Council & Sections

The Lit and Phil is run by its Council. Council members are elected at the Annual General Meeting, usually held at the end of September and serve for three years. The principal officers of the Society are the President, who is elected for a two-year term, the Hon. Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer. In addition to the main Council there are four section committees, each being responsible for organising at least six lectures a year. These are:


→ Science and Technology

→ Arts

→ Social Philosophy

→ Young People


Council & Section Committee Members - 2017-2018


Dr Diana Leitch – President (2nd Year of 2 Year Term until 2018)

Dr Sue Hilton - President Elect

Chris Baker – Vice-President (until 2018)

Prof Tony Jackson – Vice-President (until 2018)

Peter Hilton – Honorary Secretary (4 Year Term to 2020)

Trevor Rees – Honorary Treasurer (2nd year of 4 year term until September 2020 + 1 Year)

Greg Mauchline – Honorary Treasurer (2nd year of 4 year term until September 2020 + 1 Year)

Christine Chappelle – Honorary Librarian - One Year (non-voting)

Dr David Shreeve – (2nd Term expires in September 2018)

Peter Barnes –  (2nd Term to 2019)

David Brailsford – (2nd Term to 2019)

Prof Kenneth Letherman – (2nd Term to 2019)

Joanna Lavelle – (2nd Term to 2019)

Chris Boyes – (1st Term expires in September 2018)

Ronald Catlow – (1st Term expires in September 2018)

Prof Graham Booth – Editor - "Manchester Memoirs" (Ex Officio)

Arts Section

Patricia McWilliam-Fowler – Chair

Prof Tony Jackson – Minute Secretary

Joanna Lavelle – Minute Secretary

Edwina Dyson

Dr David Shreeve

Jim Howell

Dr Diana Leitch


Science & Technology Section

Prof Desmond Winterbone – Chair

Dr Brian Tyler – Secretary

Dr Margaret Carter

Chris Baker

Dr Minaxi Desai

Dr Diana Leitch

Melissa Lord

Barbara Adams

Dr Paul Miller

Peter Whitaker

Prof Michael Sinnott


Social Philosophy Section

Peter Barnes – Acting Chair

HH Brendan Hegarty

Philip Hulme – Secretary

David Brailsford

Marcia McCauley

Derek Caldwell

Ian Bradford

Carole Taylor Bruce

Malcolm Brown

Prof Kenneth Letherman

Dr Diana Leitch


Young People's Section

Dr Angus McDougall

Melissa Lord

George Baker

Lady Mary Mallick

Dr Diana Leitch


Administrative Staff

Julie Brockenshaw

Kathryn Slater