The Sunday Assembly is a “church” for people who do not believe in God. But is it really an atheist coup? John Laurenson talks to its founders, its supporters and its critics.
The Sunday Assembly is a “church” for people who do not believe in God. The congregation is filled with hundreds of people. The readings are powerful and uplifting, the singing loud, the spirit of community strong and, at the end of the service, you can sign up for volunteering work. For Heart and Soul, John Laurenson talks to the two stand-up comedians who founded the Sunday Assembly and several bright young thinkers on both sides of the God debate.
The Sunday Assembly is growing fast and there are now around 60 held world-wide. John asks whether it will draw people away from the mosques, synagogues and churches or if the Sunday Assembly – which urges people to “Live better, Help Often, Wonder More” – is bringing the Godless closer to what believers call God. John hears how the Sunday Assembly phenomenon has a lot to say about the shortcomings of religion, but perhaps even more to say about the shortcomings of atheism.
As John meets the ‘worshippers’ in London and Oxford, he discovers that rather than antipathy between atheists and believers, a new, interesting and polite conversation has begun between them.
(Photo: Pippa Evans. Credit: AFP)