In March we went online and announced Sunday Assembly Everywhere – an initiative that allows everyone to have a godless congregation (while making sure none of them become sex cults (not that we have anything against sex cults, but it’s not what we do at The Sunday Assembly (we’re British, after all))). Well, we are delighted to announce that the programme is bearing fruit and the first ever Sunday Assembly Everywhere service will be held in Exeter on Sunday 16th June.
Exeter is one of the cities, along with Brighton, Bristol, Southend-on-sea and Melbourne, that will be launching pilot Assemblies. These locations were chosen because the folk there were so passionate about having a godless congregation of their own (you can read the reasons they want to do have one in Exeter, Southend and Melbourne on our blog).
We have been working with these pilot towns to help us design the framework for Sunday Assembly Everywhere (the guidelines should be ready next week). Working with a small group will allow us to test the framework, to see how we can improve it, and learn about scalability in a semi-controlled environment.
Once we have figured it out, we will start rolling it out to the other 470 people who have asked for an Assembly (want one? Drop us a note here). Though we will need to raise more money for a Sunday Assembly Everywhere Toolkit, so we’ll be dong a Kickstarter campaign, and tour, in September and November next year.
We’re still in consultation on the precise form that the guidelines will take, but there is a consensus that a clear set of flexible rules will allow the greatest amount of people the opportunity to start having a Sunday Assembly of their own.
Indeed, it is very easy to spend so much time figuring out wording, rewriting documents and gawping at GANT charts to lose sight of the big picture. On June 16th people in Exeter who want to live better, help often and wonder more will be singing great songs, hearing interesting talks, sharing cups of tea and celebrating life.
That is heart-swellingly brilliant.
The last thing to add is: please support your local Sunday Assembly! Yogi Berra allegedly said “You should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t come to yours.” – that’s probably true of Assemblies too.
There will be loads to help with – like stacking chairs, making tea, or baking a cake, and it will be loads of fun. Also, using the internetweb, you can tell other people about on Twitter, invite people to it on Facebook or share a picture of yourself getting excited about it on Instagram.
Congratulations, and thank yous, to everyone for the massive amounts of work you’ve put in so far. We can’t say it will get easier from here, but we can say the rewards will be greater than you can possibly imagine.