The first Sunday Assembly was started by Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, two comedians who were on the way to a gig in Bath when they discovered they both wanted to do something that was like church but totally secular and inclusive of all—no matter what they believed. The first ever Sunday Assembly meeting took place on January 6th 2013 at The Nave in Islington. Almost 200 people turned up at the first meeting, 300 at the second and soon people all over the world asked to start one.
Now there are over 45 Sunday Assembly chapters in 8 different countries, inspired by the original Sunday Assembly and operating independently, where people sing songs, hear inspiring talks, and create community together in a family-friendly and inclusive setting. Why do we exist? Life is short, it is brilliant, it is sometimes tough, we build communities that help everyone live life as fully as possible.
The only way to really understand Sunday Assembly is to experience it for yourself. There will be singalong songs, moving stories, passionate speakers—all finished with tea and cake (or coffee and doughnuts!). Just by being with us you should be energised, vitalised, restored, repaired, refreshed, and recharged. No matter what the subject of the Assembly, it will solace worries, provoke kindness and inject a touch of transcendence into the everyday. But life can be tough… It is. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, we have moments of weakness, or life just isn’t fair.
We want every Sunday Assembly to be a place of compassion, where, no matter what your situation, you are welcomed, accepted, and loved. You can join a choir, sing in the band, attend and facilitate self-help groups, welcome those who are socially isolated, host potluck dinners, share hobbies, and much more. Most of all, have fun, be nice and join in.
We have a fantastic Motto shared by all assemblies:
- Live Better: We aim to provide inspiring, thought-provoking and practical ideas that help people to live the lives they want to lead and be the people they want to be.
- Help Often: Assemblies are communities of action building lives of purpose, encouraging us all to help anyone who needs it to support each other.
- Wonder More: Hearing talks, singing as one, listening to readings and even playing games helps us to connect with each other and the awesome world we live in.
All the Sunday Assemblies sign up to our Charter:
We’re not here to tell you how to live your life—we’re here to help you be the best version of you you can be. The Sunday Assembly:
- Is 100% celebration of life. Let’s enjoy it together.
- Has no doctrine. We have no set texts so we can make use of wisdom from all sources.
- Has no deity. We don’t do supernatural but we also won’t tell you you’re wrong if you do.
- Is radically inclusive. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their beliefs — this is a place of love that is open and accepting.
- Is free to attend, not-for-profit and volunteer run. We ask for donations to cover our costs and support our community work.
- Has a community mission. Through our Action Heroes (you!), we will be a force for good.
- Is independent. We do not accept sponsorship or promote outside businesses, organisations, or services.
- Is here to stay. With your involvement, Sunday Assembly will make the world a better place.
- We won’t tell you how to live, but will try to help you do it as well as you can.
- And remember point 1… The Sunday Assembly is a celebration of the one life we know we have.