Sunday Assembly Edinburgh

Welcome to Sunday Assembly Edinburgh!

We have assemblies generally on the first Sunday of the month, and usually at the Lifecare Centre in Stockbridge (with occasional exceptions). Our Facebook page usually has up-to-date information on upcoming assemblies. We tend to have around 30-70 people attending, and the assemblies last an hour. They typically include some congregational singing of well-known uplifting pop songs accompanied by the house band, some gorgeous  performance poetry, a stimulating talk, cake, and a chance to chat with others. Children are welcome – we don’t currently include anything in the programme specifically geared towards kids, but we are open to suggestions/ideas/volunteers to help! There is an invitation tojoin us for a tea or coffee after the assembly too.

We also have socials in-between assemblies, and occasional community volunteering events which we are trying to do more of. Again, please check our Facebook page for details of these. Our book club meets about every six weeks.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, ask any questions, or just say hello, please do get in touch.

Hope to see you soon!

We have a new website!

We have a new independent website.  All our future events will be posted there (as of November 2018) so please look for up to date information on the new site: 


Live Better group starts Tuesday 23 October 2018

The next Sunday Assembly Live Better group is starting on Tuesday 23 October 2018 here Edinburgh. The group is a peer support and coaching environment to help us all to live life as fully as possible. This group will meet five times – Tuesdays 23 Oct, 6 Nov, 27 Nov, 4 Dec and 11 Dec. Members are expected to attend all (or at least most) sessions during this time.

Each participant will bring along a ‘project’ – a life challenge, a new year resolution, something you are grappling with in your life, anything you like. The group, led by an experienced facilitator, will use a mixture of group conversations, coaching, action learning, reflective, circle and affirmative practices in support of everyone building progress with their projects.

The facilitator is Dr Mark McKergow, international speaker, consultant, author and coach (and also Chair of Sunday Assembly Edinburgh). Mark is known around the world for his engaging and affirming style. Mark is director of SFWork ( and has been an internationally recognised figure on the coaching, learning and consulting scene for nearly 30 years.

A comment from one of the Spring 2018 Live Better participants:

“My Live Better group were a friendly, supportive and thought provoking group of people. The sessions themselves were very helpful in working out what really mattered to me and what to do about that. If you’re thinking about taking a small step (or a giant leap) in a new direction, this is a good place to start from.” – Claire Young

It’s absolutely necessary to reserve a place in advance. Unlike normal Sunday Assemblies which a very much drop-in, this will be a fixed group for the five session duration.

The group is limited to eight participants in the first instance. Some places have already been reserved by Sunday Assembly participants. If you’re interested to join us, please contact Mark here by Facebook message or email for more details and to see how this might help you make a great close to 2018.

By |September 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Sunday Assembly 7 October 2018 – Hume-anism?

October’s Sunday Assembly is focusing on Edinburgh’s place in the development of humanistic and non-religious ideas. Our speaker is John Gordon, lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. John is an acclaimed expert in the philosophy of David Hume, a leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century and still regarded as the first modern humanist.

John is a very entertaining speaker, and will connect us with Hume, his world in the mid 1700s and his contributions both to philosophy and to the Edinburgh we all live in in enjoy today – and why David Hume himself would have been an enthusiastic Sunday Assembler!

There will also be songs to sing with the house band, poems, reflections, coffee and cake as we gather to celebrate life and help each other to Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More. Family and dog) friendly, fun and free.  Venue is the usual Lifecare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, Stockbridge EH4 1JB, 11.30am start.

(Please note that the next Sunday Assembly will be Sunday 11 November 2018, which is the SECOND Sunday rather than our usual date.)

By |September 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Sunday Assembly 2 September 2018: U-R-Unique

The September Sunday Assembly Edinburgh is all about uniqueness and creativity. Our guest speaker is world-class performance poet and SA Edinburgh favourite MiKo Berry. MiKo is becoming increasingly widely known for his activism around mental health, his support for children and young people and his urge that we all embrace our creativity. He writes:

“My goal is to make people not only rediscover their creative sides, but to understand how important it truly is to our happiness and our identity. I want to touch on the way that we compare ourselves to others and this leads to anxiety and bitterness. Young children have no barriers to creativity, but at some point we start to lose faith in our ability to create art. And I think I know why…”

We’ll also have the usual menu of songs to sing with the expanding house band, poems, Molly will be doing her best, there will be reflections, our new community noticeboard feature of local events, cake and coffee, and the chance to reflect on how we can all Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More.

This month we are doing a food bank collection for Edinburgh NE foodbank (part of the Trussel Trust). Please bring along food donations, particularly sugar (1kg bags), tinned tomatoes and long life fruit juice cartons. More on this as we get nearer to the Assembly.

As ever we are family (and dog) friendly, fun and free. Come and join us to celebrate life.  Usual venue and time – 11.30am at Lifecare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, Stockbridge EH4 1JB.

Sunday Assembly 5 August 2018: Lifefulness

This month’s Sunday Assembly Edinburgh is about Lifefulness, and we’re very excited to welcome Sunday Assembly co-founder Sanderson Jones. As many of you know, Sanderson is also a comedian and social activist who loves to build community and personal connections – he one sold out a show at Sydney Opera House by selling all the tickets personally!

Sanderson is taking Sunday Assembly forward by developing his ideas about Lifefulness. You’ve heard of Mindfulness – taking Buddhist meditation, secularising it and building its scientific credibility. Well, Sanderson thinks that Sunday Assembly does something analogous to that but with congregation. We take the idea of a church congregation, secularise it, build scientific credibility (and add great pop songs!) – and we get Lifefulness. With Sunday Assembly we want to help everyone live life as fully as possible. Sanderson is a wonderful, energetic and lively speaker, and a fun hour is assured.

Sanderson will be joining us alongside his Fringe run, Claire will be doing her best, there will be songs to sing with the house band, poems to reflect on, and of course tea and cake. Sunday Assembly is fun, family (and dog) friendly and free. Come and join us to celebrate life!  Usual venue and time – 11.30am at Lifecare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, Stockbridge EH4 1JB.

Sunday Assembly 1 July 2018: Dinner With Darwin

Our July Sunday Assembly is all about two amazing things – food AND evolution. Jonathan Silvertown, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh, is joining us to share some secrets about how we co-evolved with our food. Jonathan is the author of Dinner With Darwin: Food, Drink and Evolution. He writes:

“All food is the product of evolution and diet has shaped our own evolution, too. Delving beneath these simple facts produces plenty to wonder at. Our closest relatives, the other great apes, are vegans. So were our primate ancestors, yet we are capable of living on just plants or only meat. How did evolution cut us such slack? The one choice evolution has not allowed us is cooking: it’s compulsory and you may ask, “Why?” Even more puzzling is the fact that though we are mammals nurtured on milk, 70% of us worldwide cannot digest milk as adults. Find out how evolutionary biology provides the answers to such puzzles.”

There will also be our usual cornucopia of poems, songs to sing with the house band, reflections, and cake! It’s family (and dog) friendly, fun and free – what a great way to start your Sunday morning. Join us at Lifecare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, EH4 1JB and celebrate being alive!

Note that there was no June assembly – we had our international Assembly on May 27 instead.

International Sunday Assembly: I Hear You, Sun 27 May at Pleasance

This will be very special Sunday Assembly! We will be joined by Sunday Assemblers from all over the world to celebrate life together here in Edinburgh. There will be more than the usual crowd, with songs, talks, poems, reflections and (of course) cake at a special venue: Greyfriars Charteris Centre on the Pleasance.

Our theme is I Hear You, and our special guest speaker is Briana Pegado. Briana is an amazing person: founder of Edinburgh Student Arts Festival, named as one of Scotland’s Top Ten Social Innovators in 2016, a trustee of the Young Women’s Movement and one of their ‘30 Inspiring Women Under 30; in 2017. Briana will be speaking about empathy and connection, and we are very excited indeed to be welcoming her to Sunday Assembly.

We will also have top-class performance poetry from Edinburgh’s MiKo Berry, the Hernandez family will be ‘doing their best’, Sunday Assembly co-founders Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans will be leading proceeding with a zing, the house band will join us to sing some great pop songs, and it will be an amazing morning.

As always, Sunday Assembly is family friendly, fun and free. We welcome all who welcome all to Edinburgh’s ‘secular congregation’ with the motto Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More.

Please note that this is at a special venue, Greyfriars Charteris Centre, 140 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9RR. We will be back at our usual Lifecare venue on 1 July.

Sunday Assembly Edinburgh: Taking Your Time, Sunday 6 May 2018

This month’s Sunday Assembly Edinburgh is now devoted to the theme of Taking Your Time. It’s going to be about the power of persistence, hopes, patience and picking the right moment to do things. Our special guest speaker is Lorna McCallum, whose topic will be ‘Taking Your Time To Shine’. Lorna says:

“The world is full of people who love to shine. The brighter the better. We see them in all walks of life – athletes, comedians, even a celebrity or two. Lorna likes to shine. But nobody told her how long it would take before her “time to shine” finally arrived. What a good job she has patience and is prepared to take a long term view on the things that matter to her. If you’re wondering when your time to shine will come then come along and listen to Lorna’s uplifting story on why the best things in life sometimes really are worth waiting for.”

Lorna is a member of the Professional Speaking Association and is an accomplished speaker, trainer and facilitator who setup her consultancy business, Elephant, in 2009. She specialises in improving productivity and wellbeing in the workplace through strategic communication interventions, and has worked with organisations such as Balfour Beatty and Arup Consulting.

There will also be the usual mix of poetry, songs to sing with the house band, reflections, great people to meet and cake to eat. We’ll be led by guest host and performance poet MiKo Berry, so a lively time is guaranteed. Come and join us at LifeCare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, EH4 1JB at 11.30am on Sunday 6 May – it’s free, family (and dog) friendly, a great way to start your Sunday, and you can join us to celebrate being alive!

Sunday 1 April – Spring Forward

It’s the time of year when the clocks change, the daylight returns and new growth emerges. This month‘s Sunday Assembly has the theme Spring Forward, and we’ll be gathering to celebrate being alive with talks, songs, poems and more about moving forwards in both encouraging and tough settings.

Our speaker is SA Edinburgh’s own Mark McKergow, who will be sharing his User’s Guide To The Future framework for turning big ideas into tangible actions. Mark is an international speaker and consultant when he’s not playing the sax at SA Edinburgh, and it turns out that not all the different parts of the future as equally useful – indeed, some of them can be a distraction. Come along and see where to look and what to overlook to start making a difference to yourself and others.

We will also have songs with the house band, poems, Jules will be ‘doing her best’ in our congregation slot, and there will be cake (and eggs to paint as well!). Come and join Edinburgh’s secular congregation at LifeCare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, EH4 1JB at 11.30am on Sunday 1 April – it’s free, family and dog friendly, and fun.

Regular assemblers will know that we had to postpone the March assembly because of the snow. Never fear – it’s rescheduled for next month. Our upcoming programme is:

Sunday 6 May: All Together Now with Claire Carpenter, The Melting Pot
Sunday 27 May – special international Sunday Assembly at Greyfriars Charteris Centre, 140 Pleasance, as part of the Sunday Assembly Gathering
Sunday 1 July – Dinner with Darwin with Johnathan Silvertown, University of Edinburgh

Sunday 4th March: All Together Now POSTPONED

Due to the difficult weather conditions in Edinburgh this weekend, this assembly has been postponed.  We’re back on Sun 1 April.  So sorry.  

This Sunday Assembly is all about the power of working together. Our special guest speaker is Claire Carpenter, founder and CEO of The Melting Pot, Scotland’s centre for social innovation. The Melting Pot was one of the world’s first co-working spaces, and aims to create resilient, enterprising communities through three interlinked business : spaces to collaborate, the incubation of good ideas, and the acceleration of quality coworking globally.

Claire won the inaugural ‘Social Enterprise Champion’ Award 2016 and was shortlisted for ‘Women in Social Enterprise’ Nov 17 in the UK Social Enterprise Awards. She tours internationally providing inputs on business leadership, social enterprise development, quality coworking, and incubating social change, and we’re very excited to have her join us today.

There will also be the usual mix of poetry, songs to sing with the (expanding) house band, great people to meet and cake to eat. Come and join us at LifeCare Edinburgh, 2 Cheyne Street, EH4 1JB at 11.30am on Sunday 4 February – it’s free, family (and dog) friendly, a great way to start your Sunday, and you can join us to celebrate being alive!