The Future of Assembly
The Baptist Assembly has played an important part in our life as Baptists Together. Since 2013, we have been experimenting purposefully with the style and format of Assembly, with an overnight gathering in 2014, two one day gatherings in 2015 and 2016; and plans for a one-day Assembly in 2017 with an additional Sunday gathering.
The intention has always been to review the experience after the 2016 Assembly: to reflect on what Assembly means to us; and to look at options for the future.
This article from the Baptist Times gives some more of the history of the Assembly, and the reasons why we gather together.
Immediately after each Assembly, we offer participants the option to complete a questionnaire survey about their experience at Assembly – what went well, what could be done differently.
This has enabled us to build a picture of the current appeal of Assembly; and we know that different elements appeal to different people.
However, we are aware that Assembly currently attracts only a fraction of those who are entitled to attend. All churches are entitled to send at least one delegate, and all ministers of churches are also members of the Assembly. This means that at least 3,000 people could attend Assembly – and that’s not including children and young people and those who come to Assembly in addition to their church’s official delegates.
We were delighted that we needed to book a larger capacity venue for 2017 in the light of the demand for tickets in 2015 and 2016. It would be great to have to look for even bigger venues in future!
This article from former President Chris Ellis was written during the Futures Process to highlight the reasons for gathering together as Baptists Together in Assembly.
Of course, we need to justify the cost of everything we do. We know that the price of Assembly tickets is one of the reasons why some people are unwilling or unable to attend the event. However, we also need to be aware of the reality of what it costs to put on the Assembly event. This document gives a summary of Assembly costs over the last few years. Our current ticket price of £29.95 only just covers the cost of venue hire.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our review of Assembly by completing our survey or sending feedback to us direct. Please click here to read the initial analysis of the responses received, which is being reflected upon by Council members as they consider the future of Assembly.