LETTER: Sunday Assembly - Enormously proud of ‘atheist church’

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Further to my recent appearance on Theo Cronin’s interview page in the County Times, the Sunday Assembly Brighton, the non-religious church service, had a spectacularly successful launch on Sunday September 22, as 230 people filled St Andrew’s Church in Hove.

I am on the organising committee for this project and none of us expected it to be quite so well received. The congregation had no idea what was in store but after the first song, ‘Build me up Buttercup’, there was a huge round of applause and a real sense that something special had begun.

After a short poem, the congregation were treated to a hilarious and inspirational sermon from Mark Stevenson, based on the theme of ‘Beginnings’ in which Mark explored the difficulties and rewards of converting good ideas into reality. A moment of silent reflection was followed by a period of chatting with someone new as the collection hat went around.

As well as listening to a further reading on the subject of ‘Doing Your Best’ the audience gave rousing renditions of Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to be Wild’ and Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ which brought a smile to everyone’s face. After the service, free tea and cakes were feasted upon as dozens of people hung around and helped to tidy everything up.

Many people remarked on how positive the content was and that there was no religion-kicking. This is exactly what we were trying to achieve so we’re enormously proud to have made it happen and grateful to everyone who came along and who supported us leading up to the event.

SIMON CLARE

Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham