Holyrood makes it easier for Humanists to appoint celebrants

A new provision approved by The Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday) will see Humanist Society Scotland officially recognised as the first non-religious organisation to be '˜prescribed' under the 1977 Marriage Act.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th February 2017, 3:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:01 am
The Humanist Society Scotland can now authorise its own celebrants.
The Humanist Society Scotland can now authorise its own celebrants.

The move means that people who wish to conduct humanist ceremonies, known as celebrants, will no longer have to go through the Registrar General of Scotland. HSS will now be able to authorise its own celebrants.

The Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) was responsible for securing a change in 2005 to allow Scotland to become the first part of the UK to allow legal Humanist wedding ceremonies.

Since then the popularity of Humanist weddings has increased with more than 4,200 ceremonies taking place in 2015.

Lynsey Kidd, HSS Head of ceremonies and chaplaincy, said the society is delighted to be recognised for its representation of the Humanist community in Scotland.

She said: “Our HSS registered celebrants are trained to a high professional standard, and undertake regular development to ensure that they can deliver a first class service.

“This new status reflects the Scottish Government’s confidence in Humanist Society Scotland to authorise their own Celebrants and provides our members choosing an HSS Registered Celebrant even more assurance that with us they are in safe hands.

“Such a significant change to the marriage landscape in Scotland means that Humanist Society Scotland is given recognition as Scotland’s national Humanist Charity”

Gordon MacRae, HSS Chief Executive, also added: “Last year saw a tipping point for Humanism in Scotland, with the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey showing that non-religious people in Scotland are the majority, continued growth in demand for meaningful Humanist ceremonies, and real progress in our campaign for inclusive secular education.