London, England – The first Atheist church in the UK will open and hold service tomorrow.
The church, founded by comedians Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, will hold its first monthly service tomorrow, reports Gawker. Jones said that the two came up with the idea together, as they both appreciate many aspects of religion while not believing in any god themselves.
“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,” said Jones.
“It’s part atheist church and part foot-stomping show. There will be a speaker on a theme each month but there will also be an awesome house band, which Pippa will lead. We’ll be helping people try and stick to their new year’s resolutions in the first service.”
First up to speak at the Atheist church is children’s author Andy Stanton, who writes the Mr. Gum series, who will talk about “beginnings.” Future guest-speakers lined up are fellow comedians Josie Long, Lucy Porter and Arthur Smith, according to The Islington Gazette.
“We all should be ludicrously excited every single moment to be alive in one of the best countries in the world,” Jones adds. “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.”
So far, the religious community has reacted to the Atheist church with skepticism. “How can you be an atheist and worship in a church? Surely it’s a contradiction of terms. Who will they be singing to?” asked Revered Saviour Grech, a Catholic parish priest in Finsbury. “It is important to debate and engage with atheists but for them to establish a church like any other religious denomination is going too far. I’m cautious about it.”
It doesn’t sound like Evans and Jones started the Atheist church to flame people of religion. Rather, calling the difference between religious churches and the Atheist church a “theological disagreement” is about as delicate as such a thing can be put. It’d be nice to see the two churches get together for a potluck, though. Hey, a Christian church and Muslim mosque recently joined forces in the UK to do a Christmas food drive, so you never know what could happen.