FIND OUT MORE
WHAT IS THE SUNDAY ALTERNATIVE?
A secular congregation that celebrates life
The Sunday Alternative is a secular congregation that meets regularly to Live Better, Wonder More and Help Often.
The Sunday Alternative is the perfect home for those wanting to join a community where the complications of religion and politics are left at the door. But ideas, voices and emotions are shared. The Assembly is a place to meet new people in a nonjudgmental space where we seek to find the common humanity that binds people. And what's more, there are the best cakes you'll find anywhere on a Sunday.
The concept of Sunday Assembly was brought to life by Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans in 2013 in London and has since inspired Assemblies around the world. In 2020 Sunday Assembly Reading rebranded as The Sunday Alternative.
WHEN IS THE SUNDAY ALTERNATIVE?
On the last Sunday of
There is one Assembly a month held on the third Sunday of the month (expect August).
Doors open at 10:30 am for the Assembly starting at 11.
We recommend if you are new to the Assembly arrive at the doors open as it is far easy to meet people when there are fewer there.
There are welcomers to ease you into the community on your arrival, but they can get a little swamped closed to 11.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A SUNDAY ASSEMBLY?
Most people arrive around 10:45 am and chat over a coffee and a snack in the reception space. Just before 11 am we move into the main area and take our seats.
The band, "The Word of Bob", kicks into life with the first 2 songs - always classic pop or rock that we hope all will know.
We are then welcomed by the host, Sunday Assembly is introduced, and the 'service' for the day is explained
Over the next hour, we will sing another song, play a game, listen to a TEDx type talk, hear some poetry or a reading, someone will share a personal story, we will hear about other upcoming Sunday Assembly activities, have a moment of silent contemplation, and finish off with another great song.
The main talk can be science or history, maybe the challenges of ageing or living with mental illness, or death, perhaps we learn to dance or how to tell stories.
Then back to the drinks, snacks and chatting. We always appreciate help packing up the band so they to can join the socialising too.
Often we retire to a nearby pub or picnic in the park after the Assembly.
WHY THE SUNDAY ALTERNATIVE?
Community is at the heart of our well being
Historically, churches have been the social glue for communities. Times have changed and a rapidly increasingly secular society people have disengaged from religion. Even many who are religiously minded are looking for a community that is truly welcoming regardless of orientation or background. The Sunday Alternative creates that space - all the benefits of a community without supernatural teachings and divisive dogmas.
There are many social clubs to belong to but what makes The Sunday Alternative different is that it is designed to create community - not just to share a hobby or promote a cause, not just to be a spectator, but as a place where you will be accepted for whom you are and valued for it.
Loneliness and social anxiety are a grave public health issue that society is struggling to address. Sunday Assembly Reading places inclusivity and a supportive community at its core.