The inaugural Assembly of London East End starts with a beautiful ritual.

On May 8th, 120 people came together for an inaugural Assembly that could hardly have gone much better. A big thanks to our amazing speakers (Tiu de Haan, Shamim Azad, Nick Pearmain), ace choir (Camden Voices) fantastic venue and staff (Spotlight), all our volunteers and everyone who made it down! The sun also made a welcome appearance, making our songs for the day (including ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and ‘I Can See Clearly Now’) highly appropriate, and we had a lovely picnic in Langdon Park next door afterwards. The photos speak for themselves… check them out in the full collection on our Facebook page (thanks to our amazing volunteer photographer Greg Hartley for these).

One stand out moment was our bespoke new beginnings ritual, created for us by secular celebrant and ritual expert Tiu de Haan. We each took a flower bulb, and were invited to consider some kind of new beginning in our life—anything from a new project to a new relationship / job / home, or indeed the new community we had come together to celebrate. We then shared these beginnings and swapped our bulbs with a stranger—then did the same again. In the end everyone ended up with a bulb representing someone else’s new beginning, which we were then responsible for planting. As expressed in one of the feedback forms collected after the event, as well as being a beautiful ritual, this was also simple but meaningful way of interacting with and getting to know strangers. Nice one Tiu! If you were there, where did you plant yours? Has it grown? Let us know if and when it begins to grow, and take pictures if possible, would be great to follow their progress!

We got some really positive and interesting feedback from attendees. If you’d like to add anything to help us improve future events, or if you have any ideas to share, let us know!