FOSTERING COMMUNITY SPIRIT
Eurobarometer 2005 Poll found that among UK residents 40% have “belief in a spirit or life force” and 20% “belief in neither a spirit, god, nor life force” compared to only 38% who have a belief in God. Spiritual and community need is filled (for believers) by mosques, synagogues and churches. Atheists and humanist organizations have sprung up (Skeptics in the Pub, BHA affliate groups) but they do not cater to community and spiritual needs.
The success of The Sunday Assembly indicates the need: 190 people at the first Assembly, 280 at the second, 400 at the third. Over 250 people have asked for an Assembly - it is open to anyone of any faith, but no hint of the supernatural will come from the pulpit (the Unitarians already provide for non-denominational theists). The Assembly will provide for the human need for community, finding meaning in life and a place to celebrate the rites of passage (births, marriages, funerals).
Community bonds are created at the service, through regular attendance and practices such as introducing yourself to others and having tea at the end, and shared activities (a book club and philosophy club are already being set up). For personal growth the Assembly uses the best aspects of religion: talks that inform (and provide practical living tips); communal singing and time to reflect on one’s own life.
Sunday Assembly London covers the cost of every service (Venue cost: £250, manned by volunteers, voluntary collection: £400-£500).
Sunday Assembly Everywhere, the network of local Assemblies, will be funded with a contribution of 10% from each collection . In return Sunday Assembly will provide use of its brand, marketing support (mailing lists, shared web presence, advertising of events to local communities), videos (like TEDx), community organisation tools (forums) and customer service for any questions.
Commercial opportunities include: media (Songs of Praise style programming, TEDx style YouTube channel), merchandise (t-shirts, posters, postcards), publishing (inspirational readings, the best Sunday Assembly speeches) and other sectors.
Legal Structure – UK Assemblies will be unincorporated associations operating under license. Their constitutions will be the constitution of The Sunday Assembly.