It isn’t often that one hears of atheists attending church, however a new movement seems to be gearing up, as non-believers search for ways to create secular community groups. A Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla., is holding weekly services for atheists and humanists. And, now, in London, stand-up comics are launching their own house of worship — a secular project that is sparking international attention.
The Islington Gazette is reporting that comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans are preparing for what the outlet dubs “a godless congregation,” which will be located in Canonbury (a residential district in the north of London). The atheist church, called “The Sunday Assembly,” will provide secular weddings, funerals and monthly services (the first Sunday of every month).
Jones and Evans, a musical impov duo, will launch the church on Jan. 6 (on the Feast of Epiphany). According to the Gazette, the two decided to create the house of worship when they realized that, while they enjoy some aspects of religion, they do not believe in a higher power.
“We thought it would be a shame not to enjoy the good stuff about religion, like the sense of community, just because of a theological disagreement,” Jones told the outlet.
Rather than in-house reverends, the church will include speakers who will come in to talk about a variety of issues each month. And, much like deity-driven churches, the house of worship will include a house band led by Evans.
“We all should be ludicrously excited every single moment to be alive in one of the best countries in the world,” Jones noted. “If the church becomes a useful place for others, that would be a good thing. We just want people to feel encouraged and excited when they leave.”
While Jones’ and Evans’ new project is certainly curious, they aren’t the first non-believers to share an appreciation of church culture. Author Alain de Button, too, has noted that atheists can learn quite a bit from believers.
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