This is the first in a series of posts from Sunday Assemblers across the world, writing about why they want to start an Assembly.
Hey guys! We’re the Sunday Assembly Exeter group, and we’re looking for anyone in the South West who wants to live better, help often, or wonder more to get in touch, so we can get celebrating together!
Why did you want to set up a Sunday Assembly?
Matt Pocock: I’ve always been a bit jealous of religious types. They seem to get all the best stuff. Every Sunday, they got to go hang out with nice people, eat excellent biscuits and have a sing-song.
Sometimes, I went along myself. But being an atheist, there seemed like there was something I wasn’t getting – an extra step I couldn’t take. I met the nice people, ate the biscuits, and sang along, but it somehow didn’t feel authentic – it felt like I was playing along.
I loved it – I loved the people, the music, the place, and I came out every week feeling ready for anything. But I couldn’t bear that nagging sensation of being a “faker”.
So I had what felt like an impossible idea in my head: how do you get that same feeling of community, that same excitement and purpose, without that little supernatural extra?
Answer: The Sunday Assembly.
Don’t you think the whole ‘Atheist Church’ thing is a bit weird?
Tom Morgan: You know what, funnily enough I don’t! I actually see it as something which can become a really important part and fun of people’s lives.
I’m a big believer that we all have an innate desire within us to connect with other people, to be part of a community, to laugh, to help, to wonder. I have a lot of Christian friends who, to be fair, get to experience that through the stuff they do with their Church – so, hey, let’s make that same thing possible for those who don’t necessarily want to have the rest of the churchy-stuff that goes along with it.
So if anything, Sunday Assembly is the opposite of weird; maybe in a few years’ time it’ll just be the normal 😉
What’s next for Sunday Assembly Exeter?
Elly DeVall: Myself, Matt and Tom are heading to London to see a Sunday Assembly in action! We’ve got ideas about how we want Sunday Assembly Exeter to be, and to see it working in London is a really exciting prospect for us all!
At the moment we meet on a Wednesday evening to give informal talks and share ideas but we know it won’t be long before we outgrow our current venue. We’re looking into introducing a more informal weekend meet as well, which we hope will be based around a different discussion topic each week.
We hope the interest we’re sparking now is going to turn into a wildfire before long, and we can’t wait til we’re ready to hold our first proper Sunday Assembly!