Assembly offers Sunday service without religion

(r-l) Sunday Assembly organisers Raj Chowdhury, Nick Trott and Bill Best with Crookes Social Club secretary Peter Lonsdale and Crookes Social Club concert chairman Dave Deakin at the Crookes Social Club where a secular group has been set up to get people together and become part of the community. Picture: Andrew Roe

(r-l) Sunday Assembly organisers Raj Chowdhury, Nick Trott and Bill Best with Crookes Social Club secretary Peter Lonsdale and Crookes Social Club concert chairman Dave Deakin at the Crookes Social Club where a secular group has been set up to get people together and become part of the community. Picture: Andrew Roe

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A new Sheffield group wants to bring back the routine of the Sunday service - but not in church.

The Sunday Assembly meets at Crookes Social Club once a month, offering talks, singing, cake and a chance for the community to get together.

It has been organised by three health workers - Nick Trott, Raj Chowdhury and Abi Miller.

“We want people of faith and no faith to come along,” said Nick, aged 46, from Hillsborough.

“A lot of us maybe have grown up with no experience of attending church, but they might enjoy the community aspects of it - an inclusive environment where people can talk about different things.”

The idea was started two-and-a-half years ago by two comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, who wanted to do something with ‘the best bits’ of church, but without religion, as congregations dwindle.

There are now 68 assemblies around the world, a number expected to increase.

So far in Sheffield talks have been given by a GP and an expert on the big bang theory. The next assembly - this Sunday from 10.30am to 12.30pm - focuses on family.

“It’s a growing thing,” Nick added. “We can take the idea and move it forward.”

The assembly meets in Crookes on the third Sunday of every month. Visit www.facebook.com/TheSundayAssembly for details.