The Manchester Lit and Phil was established in 1781 with the object of promoting the advancement of education and public interest in any form of literature, science, arts or public affairs.

We are a membership-based charitable organisation and our members play a key role in supporting the Society’s aims and in planning our lecture programme.

We set high standards in the subject choices of our lectures and our reputation is an important factor in attracting prominent speakers who are active in significant contemporary issues.


Our Beliefs

  • We are proud of our history but respond to the changing world around us
  • We strive to maintain the quality of all we do
  • Members should take ownership of the society and make a valuable contribution to it
  • We promote the value of education for all
  • We celebrate diversity in all respects
  • We see collaboration as a way of working
  • We take a democratic, informed approach to the management of the society
  • We treat members, staff and associates with respect and dignity



The management of the Manchester Lit and Phil is overseen by its Council.   Council members are elected at the Annual General Meeting, usually held at the end of September, serve for two years, and are eligible for re-election for a further term. The principal officers of the Society are the President, who is elected for a two-year term, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer.

The Society employs three professional members of staff who manage the day to day running of the Society. 

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 - 2021-2022


Ian Cameron - President

Dr Sue Hilton - Immediate Past President

Chris Baker - Vice-President

Professor Tony Jackson - Vice President

Niall Power - Honorary Secretary

Trevor Rees - Honorary Treasurer

Joanna Lavelle - Elected Council Member

Dhun Daji - Elected Council Member

Patricia McWilliam Fowler - Chair - Arts Section Commitee

Dr Dianne Bamber - Chair - Science and Technology Section Commitee

Dr Sue Hilton -  acting Chair - Social Philosophy Section Commitee

Melissa Lord - acting Chair - Young Peoples Section Commitee

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

Christine Chappelle - Honorary Librarian - (non-voting)

Arts Section

Patricia McWilliam-Fowler – Chair

Professor Tony Jackson – Minute Secretary

Joanna Lavelle – Minute Secretary

Edwina Dyson - Elected member

Dr David Shreeve - Elected member

Jim Howell - Elected member

Celia Baker - Elected member

Manju Bhavnani - Elected member

Ian Cameron - Ex-officio


Science & Technology Section

Dr Dianne Bamber - Chair

Jim  Thomas - Secretary

Peter Williams - Elected member

Melissa Lord - Co-opted member

Dr Paul Miller - Elected member

Dr Minaxi Desai - Elected member

Professor Desmond Winterbone - Elected member

Lesley Roberts - Elected member

Martin Hunt - Elected member

Chris Baker - Corresponding Member

Professor Michael Sinnott - Corresponding Member

Ian Cameron - Ex-officio

Social Philosophy Section

Dr Sue Hilton - acting Chair

Philip Hulme - Secretary

Sheila Whitaker - Elected member

Marcia McCauley - Elected member

Peter Barnes - Elected member

 Pierre Waugh- Co-opted member

Ian Cameron - Ex-officio


Young People's Section

Melissa Lord - Secretary and acting Chair

George Baker - Elected dmember

Lady Mary Mallick - Elected member

Vienna Borowska - Co-opted member

Teadora (Tea) Milanovic - Co-opted member

Dr Sue Hilton - Elected member

Rachel Croft - Ex-officio

Ian Cameron - Ex-officio



Rachel Croft - Partnerships and Membership Development Manager

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Aude Nguyen Duc - Operations and Volunteers Manager

Contact Aude


Emily Anderson - Events and Membership Assistant

Contact Emily