Start Your Assembly
So you’ve heard about the wonderful Sunday Assembly movement and would like to get involved by starting a Sunday Assembly in your area? Fantastic! This guide will help you get things moving right away.
Starting a Sunday Assembly is amazing – it’s fun, you meet some great people, you bring folks together in a new and inspiring way, and the fulfilment you get can be awesome.
What is Sunday Assembly?
We are a network of non-religious communities who gather to celebrate this one life we know we have. We're a global movement for wonder and good.
Sunday Assembly members volunteer, learn, get inspired, and celebrate life with their communities. We live better, help often, and wonder more through events big and small in our local chapters.
The Sunday Assembly movement was started in London, UK by comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans in 2013. They had both been churchgoers in their youth, stopped going and then realised they missed something; not the religious part, but rather the community, the stimulation, the singing, the being with others, the tea and cake afterwards. So they set up Sunday Assembly to see if a ‘church-like thing without religion’ could be done. And it could!
There are now chapters around the world. Take a look at our map. Is there something close to you already? Get along and say hello. If there isn’t something close to you, maybe you are the person to get something.
You can find out more on our About page.
Key things to know about Sunday Assembly
Firstly, we are not a single organisation. Each chapter is free-standing and can organize how it wishes (as long as it follows the key ideas of Sunday Assembly). We support each other as best we can. There are folks who’ve been doing this for more than 10 years, and they are eager to help you.
Secondly, Sunday Assembly is not a way to earn money or make a living. We started with a public charter which still sets out the broad space in which we operate. Some key things are:
Sunday Assembly is a non-religious congregation that celebrates life. Our motto is Live Better, Help Often, and Wonder More.
We are here for everyone who wants to:
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
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.
SA has no doctrine. We have no set texts, so we can make use of wisdom from all sources.
SA has no deity. We don’t do supernatural, but we also won’t tell you you’re wrong if you do.
SA is radically inclusive. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their beliefs – this is a place of love that is open and accepting. We welcome all who welcome all.
SA is free to attend, not-for-profit and volunteer run. We ask for donations to cover our costs and support our community work.
You’re still interested? Excellent!
A quick guide to starting a Sunday Assembly chapter
The most important part of Sunday Assembly is offering inclusive secular gatherings which welcome all who welcome all and are an inspiration to Live Better, Help Often, and Wonder More. We want to offer places where anyone, regardless of their beliefs, can find community based on shared values.
If you have experience in organizing, promoting, and running events, you may want to jump straight to our full Start-Up Guide.
If you don't, that's ok too! Sunday Assembly can happen at multiple levels. Start at the level that works for you.
Level 1: Assemble
Hold a gathering of any size in the spirit of Sunday Assembly - with a secular perspective as well as respect for all, encouraging attendees to Live Better, Help Often, and Wonder More.
Put together a Little Assembly - See Assembly Format
Host a small group
Remember to focus on celebrating life, being together, and being inclusive. The folks who are open to join you are vital in expanding your Sunday Assembly.
Level 3: Diversify
Add one or more small groups. Examples: service activities: join a local cleanup or volunteer at a food bank; hobbies: book club, game night, movie night, dancing, hiking, meditation; food: coffee, brunch, beer hopping, restaurant hopping; other: parents, online chat
Organizers from across the US and UK meeting at a Sunday Assembly International Conference
Level 4: Become an Organization
When you are ready and confident you'll be doing this for some time, we invite you to take steps to make your Assembly more official:
Create an organization
A nonprofit in the U.S.
An unincorporated association in the UK (See pg 28 of the Start-Up Guide)
Create a board
Open a bank account
Solicit donations to cover necessary costs
If you are in the U.S., join SAUSA
Reach out to let us know about your interest in starting an Assembly, share any questions you have, and we will offer any support that we can.
We also have a private online forum where you can get mentoring and talk with Sunday Assembly organizers who've been doing this for years and have learned how to get things happening.