The Alternative Sunday Service


I had a thought on Sunday, in my back yard, as my friend was telling me about how much he enjoyed belonging to the London School of Samba. Making a joyful racket with a group of like-minded people is at the heart of all kinds of scenes (and at the heart of what Brian Eno called ‘scenius‘ or the genius of a scene) but he also got a sense of community and a strong sense of wellbeing from spending his Sundays banging various pieces of Brazilian percussion. It made me think about why people go to church, or wherever they practice their faith, and I can’t help thinking it’s because it offers something everyone needs: community, enrichment, focus, faith, something to think about, emotional sustenance and maybe a cup of tea afterwards. But what if you’re an atheist and you still want some of that on a weekly basis? Do you have to samba? Or attend the School of Life’s Secular Sunday Sermons? I think I might have to find out what else is out there…

Oh, and the picture is of Holy Innocents, RC, Orpington, where I spent every Sunday until I was 16 and began the shift from listening to Priests to listening to Chicago House DJs preaching a different kind of gospel.

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