Start your own Sunday Assembly
It's been going from strength to strength since it launched in London in January, and now you can help the godless congregation go national
Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the extraordinary success of the Sunday Assembly, the godless congregation (often referred to as the "atheist church") which was launched by the comedians Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones in London in January.
While a lively debate has raged on blogs such as this over whether there's a need for such congregations at all, people have voted with their feet, packing out each monthly "service" and inundating the organisers with requests to take the concept national (and perhaps even global).
Which is exactly what is going to happen next – with your help. Pippa and Sanderson have today announced that, from May onwards, people will be able to start their own assemblies, under the banner Sunday Assembly Everywhere.
Here are some details from the Sunday Assembly team (plus a video from Pippa and Sanderson below):
"Since launching in January over 200 people have got in touch, from Colombia to Philadelphia, from Bali to Bangor, who want to start one. Sunday Assembly Everywhere is a framework that will allow anyone to have the great Sunday Assembly experience, while making sure that it always stays true to its celebratory, life-affirming spirit.
Sunday Assembly Everywhere will provide videos, marketing support, and any other resources we can, while making sure new Assemblies have the creative space needed to make it their own. New congregations can choose their own songs, readings and speakers and, more importantly, start building a community.
The guidelines for Sunday Assembly Everywhere can be found here (note: they are still in development, so might be tweaked). In brief, new Assemblies must be on a theme explored by Sunday Assembly London, include a video of the guest speaker and the address, contain a moment of silent reflection, have songs, and be free to enter (any payment by donation).
Sanderson says: “we’re sorry if these rules sound pernickety but it only takes one newspaper headline of ‘CHILD SACRIFICED AT SUNDAY ASSEMBLY’ to pee in the pool for everyone”.
In order to fund the shooting and editing of the videos The Sunday Assembly will start a KickStarter campaign in April. The funding of Sunday Assembly Everywhere, once it is up and running,will come from Assemblies contributing 10% of their donations to maintaining of the network.
The goal is for the new Assemblies to start from May onwards. “If you want to start your own Assembly email us at firstname.lastname@example.org” says Pippa, “We can’t wait to have you onboard”.
Sunday Assembly London continues to go from strength to strength March saw two services, both at full capacity. Sunday Assembly goes to Glasgow on March 31st, while Pippa Evans launches it in Melbourne on April 21st. The next Sunday Assembly London is Easter for Atheists on April 7th – full details to follow."