As the name suggests, this is the Annual Meeting of the Parish, a legacy from the Middle Ages and pre-dating the formation of Parish Councils. All local decision making was carried out by meetings of the whole community and typically took place the the church vestry. That level of local democracy is rare now in the UK, the role being filled largely by your Parish Council.
The purpose of a Parish Assembly is to give the Parish Council (and other local organisations) an opportunity to let local residents know what they have been doing on their behalf over the past year. The meeting is also an opportunity for electors to have a say on anything they consider pertinent to the people of the Parish.
The meeting can also be an opportunity for local groups, clubs, societies and other voluntary and statutory organisations to have representatives from the group address those present at the meeting about the work they do and what they are involved in.
The Annual Meeting is open to all electors of the Parish. It is not a meeting of the Parish Council. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, however only registered electors of the parish may speak and vote during the meeting.
Want to know more? The Local Government Act 1972 is your point of reference. If you really want to read it all, the act it is available to view at legislation.gov.uk
Meanwhile, if you are not sure which parish's assembly you should attend – click here for an overview, or enter your postcode in the interactive map here. And don't worry if you didn't know you were, after all, in Curry Rivel – I once met a Councillor that didn't know the extent of his own Parish. Around here it's not that obvious!