Priding itself on its tagline ‘live better, help often, wonder more,’ The Sunday Assembly is the brainchild of Sanderson Jones and musical comedian Pippa Evans, and aims to take the best things about religion and religious ceremonies, but to do it without all the god-talk. Or, as Sanderson himself has put it, it’s “a godless congregation that will meet on the first Sunday of every month to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life.”
The first ‘service’ was held yesterday morning at the deconsecrated church The Nave in north London, and featured a talk by children’s author Andy Stanton and was shaped around the theme ‘Beginnings’.
The notion of an atheist church has drawn criticism from both the atheist and religious camps, with atheists worried that holding a service of this nature in a church risks making atheism itself a religion, and those from the other side worried about it, too, for similar reasons.
Does Sanderson seem worried? Not at all, he Tweeted ‘The Sign that @SundayAssembly is a good idea? I’m getting criticism from atheists and the religious.’
Lovely warm and a bit chaotic feel to the first @sundayassemblyfeels like the start of something.
— Richard McKeever (@rmlondon) January 6, 2013
Great first @sundayassemblyIslington. A huge crowd in a godless church with comedy, talks, inspiration, more stuff. And.An Oasis tune.
— Clara Electra (@ClaraElectra) January 6, 2013
— Monique Bowley (@moniquebowley) January 6, 2013
— jonathansebire (@jonathansebire) January 6, 2013