The theme of the June 14 London Sunday Assembly was kindness. Fitting then that I helped an old gentleman enter the venue as he was struggling to cross the street outside. Not quite the uplifting experience that Bernadette Russell would go on to describe, however. As he mainly complained about rich Sunday Assembly members taking up the parking spaces, I came away feeling guilty (despite being neither a driver nor rich).
But that’s not important right now.
The handclaps in the rendition of the Friends theme tune – were perfectly timed. The morning’s other songs were Reach Out, All You Need is Love (ba ba da da da), and River Deep, Mountain High.
First up was poet/comedian/cultural commentator Rich Mars. Oddly motivational (“be Neil Armstrong, or at least Buzz Aldrin”), Rich had me when he quite rightly name-checked Richard & Judy as an example of true love. There was also a nice link in with the opening number (“I’ll be her for you”)
“I bet he’s backed up his hard drive”
Next came the aforementioned Bernadette Russell. After a disturbingly long (and sometimes just disturbing) list of the mean things she’s done in her life (one involving her poorly sister and ‘hot apple juice’), she explained how the London riots changed her perspective.
“I kicked a boy just because he looked like Simon Le Bon”
To make amends for her own and the collective naughtiness, she spent a year doing one kind thing for a stranger each day. A rather lovely story involving lots of cake, balloons and the revelation that a project like that “makes you present in the day you’re in.”
Finally, we met Hazel, the youngest member of Sunday Assembly.
Check my Flickr for the full set of photos.
Sunday Assembly London is held twice a month at Conway Hall: the next one is July 6. No tickets required – just turn up. Full details here: http://london.sundayassembly.com/events/
If you’re not in London, see if there’s Sunday Assembly near you: http://sundayassembly.com/
Sunday Assembly: “It’s all the best bits of church, but with no religion, and awesome pop songs!”