We are often asked what the difference is between The Sunday Assembly and the Unitarians. Amy Fletcher emailed in just that question and, with her permission, I am printing the exchange. I think it says what needs to be said.
I love the idea behind Sunday Assembly! I wondered if you are a unitarian community or not? I have recently come across unitarianism and it seems to be pretty similar to your own aims. Not any mention of having to believe in god and excepting of everyone.
Believing that “personal experience, conscience, and reason should be the final authorities in religion.” and that in the end “religious authority lies not in a book, person, or institution, but in ourselves.” – I myself agree to that and want to be a part of a community that questions the wonderment of life and how to spend my time improving myself. I see myself as a spiritual person but I don’t believe in God.If you’re not unitarian group please could you kindly explain to me the differences between what you do?
Thanks so much for this email. It is a question we are asked quite often because we are very similar to the Unitarians, but we do have a key difference. Unitarians come from the point of view that all faiths are equal, so they do not choose anyone in particular, and welcome all faiths. The Sunday Assembly comes from the viewpoint that there is no God, so how should we live this life now. We also welcome people of all faiths, as there is plenty that is useful for everyone in our Assemblies.Before I started the Sunday Assembly I did research Unitarianism and many atheists found attending UU congregations difficult as they could occasionally break out into crystal spirituality, conversations of personal experience of God, and other things that humanists find very hard to deal with.
Has that answered your question?
Lovely to here back from you & thank you for clarifying that for me, I have been umming and arring whether to join a unitarian church before I came across your website. As they still see themselves as a form of religion I thought that might be the case and now you have kindly explained the fundamental difference between you and unitarianism, I probably would feel more comfortable attending the sunday assembly rather then a unitarian service. Are you open every Sunday?
Amy is coming on Sunday May 5th and I am really looking forward to meeting her (event details on our site, on Facebook). Thanks Amy for letting us publish this. Also, I didn’t realise they thought of themselves ‘as a form of religion’. Thanks for that too.