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Funday School: the Sunday Assembly finds a new home

Posted at 11:15 am, June 1, 2013 in Secret London
Sarah Lee/Guardian News & Media Ltd.

In theory, church sounds great – Sunday mornings spent singing songs, philosophising and celebrating life. But what if you don’t actually believe in God? No longer a problem. The Sunday Assembly (dubbed Britain’s first ‘atheist church’) is an event for non-religious people who want to feel part of a community, and it’s back after a brief break. It includes singalongs to the likes of Queen and Stevie Wonder instead of hymns, plus lectures on science (among other secularly themed subjects) in place of sermons.

Started in February in a deconsecrated Islington church by stand-up comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, its attempt to ‘inject a bit more whizziness into everyday life’ was so popular it drew crowds of more than 300 people, forcing it to move to a bigger home in Bethnal Green’s York Hall. Similarly unbelieving congregations in Exeter, New York and Melbourne will be setting up their own Sunday assemblies over the summer. Back in London, the first York Hall meeting on Sunday June 2 will focus on ‘Happiness’, with the writer Anthony Seldon. ‘It’s gonna be all about how to get happy, and make other people happy,’ says the SA’s Facebook page. Future events include talks from comedians Arthur Smith and Josie Long. Oh, and there’s also free tea and cakes. Now that’s worth getting up early on a Sunday for. Rebecca Taylor

York Hall, 5 Old Ford Rd, E2 9PJ. For info, see sundayassembly.comFree. Sun Jun 2, 11am.

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