A pair of British comedians opened the U.K.'s first atheist church Sunday. The Sunday Assembly, as it is named, holds wedding ceremonies, funerals and will meet regularly -- though not every Sundays. Services are scheduled for the first Sunday of every month.
Pippa Evans, who is a "musical improv comedian," and Sanderson Jones, just a regular comedian, developed the idea together. The church is located -- go figure -- in London.
The reason behind the church is that Jones and Evans felt that there were some aspects of a church, such as coming together and a feeling of community, that they liked, while not specifically believing in a (small g, they said) god.
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, who recently became the first person to sell out the Sydney Opera House by personally selling all tickets by hand.
The church's first service was about helping people abide by their New Year’s resolutions. Jones added:
We all should be ludicrously excited every single moment to be alive in one of the best countries in the world. 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 not believing in God, the church does believe in social media. The Sunday Assembly has a nascent Twitter account. It hasn't tweeted since Saturday, but its last tweet implies other Sunday Assembly churches in other cities are possible.
The announcement of Jones and Evans’ church is aptly time. The U.K. released census results last week, which revealed that one in three residents of the U.K. are atheists.