Volunteers began arriving at St Andrew’s Church on Waterloo Street from 9am. Using instruction sheets and checklists, the two hours spent setting up were busy and good humoured.
First came sweeping up and putting up signs, then setting up the projector and screen, sound desk and mics, then putting toys out in the children’s corner and setting up the food bank. Brighton Sunday Assembly services are organised by a committee – a core group of volunteers, and roles are shared amongst them. Lynn is floor manager this month. When new volunteers start they are often given specific jobs. Those who started today arranged the tea things and put up the bunting.
Catie and Paul worked on the sound desk. Paul, who usually sets up the sound desk, first came along when the Brighton Sunday Assembly began. This was around three years ago. He has been involved ever since. Paul described the meetings as ‘inclusive – everyone is welcome’.
Lynn handed out name stickers. Amy set out the cakes. Gareth made safe the cabling running across the stage area. He described how the Brighton Sunday Assembly has evolved over three years – finding a way that works so the services can run smoothly.
Rob, the choirmaster, lead the choir rehearsal from around 10.30am. They sang ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Want You Back’ and ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ – and accompanied it with lots of shaking, shimmying, air guitar and a fair amount of laughter.
Simon hosted this month. In what seemed a particularly moving meeting, three speakers addressed the theme of forgiveness. Marina Cantacuzino spoke about The Forgiveness Project. Amy used a story and audience participation to discuss the importance of perspective, leading us to the conclusion that being able to see things from a different point of view might help us be more able to forgive. Gareth read a beautiful piece by the Reverend Martin Luther King on the nature of forgiveness, chosen as the service fell a week after what would have been his 88th birthday.
Among notices at the end, a call was made for ‘new blood’ – volunteers that might be musicians, speakers or those willing to give readings, serve tea and bring cakes, or bring quiet toys for the children’s area.