It is a church without religion, a congregation that celebrates life rather than any god.
Sunday Assembly, or church for atheists, is a gathering of the godless and is on its way to Australia. It aims to celebrate and inspire. It also serves tea and cake.
“The Sunday Assembly has been called the atheist church, but we prefer to think of it as all the best bits of church but with no religion and awesome songs,” British comedian Sanderson Jones said.
“Our motto is “live better, help often and wonder more”, and our mission is to help everyone live this one life as fully as possible.”
Mr Jones and fellow comedian Pippa Evans created and held their first Sunday Assembly in London in January.
Since then, the movement has gone viral.
“I am at the moment doing this phone call from Nashville, Tennessee, and we are launching a Sunday Assembly in the buckle of the Bible Belt,” Mr Jones said.
“People have heard about what we’re doing and now there are these godless congregations which are being launched all over the world.”
Organisers are on a world tour, establishing assemblies across the US, UK, Europe and Australia.
Melbourne has already hosted five Sunday Assemblies. Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra are next.
Assembly ‘meeting a need’ and not anti-religion: organisers
“Because it is a godless congregation, we don’t have a doctrine to rely on so we take reference from everything in the world,” Kathryn Murray, the Assembly’s Melbourne convenor, said.
“From the arts, from nature, from everything that we can get our hands on.”
A typical service includes inspirational talks, readings and sing-alongs and always finishes with tea and cake.
Ms Murray says they have been getting about 100 people at each assembly.
“The rate at which it’s growing I think shows that it’s meeting a need,” she said.
“Especially within atheism, I think there’s a bit of a stigma that’s gotten attached to it that you have to be angry and outraged and anti-religion to be an atheist and it’s just not true.
“There are heaps of people who don’t believe and just want to be good people and part of a community.”
The Sunday Assembly roadshow arrives in Australia next weekend.