There are few formal barriers to starting a Sunday Assembly congregation – an organising team, a venue, some local press, accepting the Sunday Assembly terms and conditions, and a new assembly can be up and running. There is no requirement initially for formal constitutions or quality control. This webpage introduces the process for assemblies to gain accreditation by demonstrating that they have a proper formal footing, good quality services and operations and a long term commitment.
Each Sunday Assembly must seek accreditation between six months and two years of starting.
You will need three videos of services (ideally the three most recent services) filmed from a position where both the stage and some of the congregation can be seen. This will take at least three months to create, so get started on filming now. The videos don’t have to be broadcast quality, a smartphone on a tripod or stand is fine.
While you are collecting your videos, you can read on below about the other documentation required and the peer-reviewing process which ensures that accreditations are worthwhile and encouraging learning experiences for all concerned.
To initiate the accreditation process for your assembly, contact Mark McKergow, Accreditation Chair. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Benefits of accreditation
- Continued operation
- Confidence that the operation is of good quality
- Meeting experienced SA organisers and comparing notes in a supportive environment
- Being a recognised ambassador for Sunday Assembly in the region – a ‘trusted voice’
- A vote in the development of Sunday Assembly via the General Assembly, and the chance to propose changes to the way SA is run
- More flexibility to develop innovative services and community action, taking on projects on behalf of the SA network (as opposed to locally)
- Access to shared and discounted services (in the fullness of time)
Great! How does the process work?
Briefly, the process is in two phases:
Phase 1: Collect documentation
Including formal legal constitution, organizing team, social media accounts, insurance etc plus three videos of services. The Accreditation Chair will then appoint two accreditors to review the documentation and arrange an accreditation visit.
Phase 2: Onsite visit
The two accreditors attend a service and meet afterwards with the organizing team to exchange feedback and ideas in a constructive environment. The formal findings are communicated within 14 days and can result in accreditation, almost-accreditation (fix a few small things), or not-yet-accredited (try again). In all cases there will be full feedback and constructive advice about how to build and improve your congregation. There is an option to carry out this phase remotely via Skype if necessary – different detailed arrangement will apply in that case.
The process is summarised in the diagram below.
What do we do to get the process underway?
1. Check out the information required by looking at the Accreditation form at
(Please don’t complete this version. Contact Mark McKergow and he will sort you out your own form and directory to work on.)
2. Get videoing your services – you need three recordings.
3. Contact Mark McKergow (email@example.com) who will sort you out with a form to complete and a Lead Accreditor to begin to look at your information.
Who can accredit us?
Sunday Assembly has an approved list of accreditors who have helped to develop the process, trialled it and understand how it works. One of them must lead the process. The lead accreditors at the moment are:
- Mark McKergow (London)
- Sandra Medina (San Diego)
- Sarah Galligan (Manchester/London)
- Fraeya Whiffen (Bristol)
- Michael Lewis (Los Angeles)
- Gush Bhumbra (Leicester)
- Emma Rennie (Sydney)
- Landry Butler (Nashville)
As the process goes on, each accredited assembly will be asked to add a name to this list to help accredit other assemblies. This will give us a growing pool of accreditors, as well as ensuring that the process is sustainable. Naturally, you can’t accredit your own assembly. Accreditors are able to reclaim actual travel expenses from Sunday Assembly. If you are having accreditors to visit, please help them with hospitality and accomodation.
Who is already accredited?
The following assemblies have been accredited already.
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Silicon Valley
Where can I find out more about the accreditation process and requirements?
Contact Accreditation Chair Mark McKergow or any of the Accreditors on the list above.