TNT magazine reports:
Yesterday saw the first ‘service’ of The Sunday Assembly, London’s first atheist church.
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’.
For those wondering what a profane liturgy might look like, the Sunday Assembly has posted an outline on its website:
The Order of Service
To begin with we are following a format which people are familiar with and it is just going to get better from there as we hone the heck out of it.
- Welcome / notices
- Guest speaker
- Final Address
English children’s author Andy Stanton was the guest of honor yesterday (which, perhaps unbeknownst to attendees, was Christmas Eve for Christians following the Old Calendar—с праздником!). Due partly to press coverage from Gawker and CNN, attendance was high, and some have already suggested they move to a larger venue.
However, the most prescient take on the new organization comes from attendee Nick Julius, who yesterday tweeted, “The race is on… What will cause our first schism?”