Dear Daughters and Sons – why I am an Atheist who believes in Church

My Sunday mornings are sacred. This combined with the boringness of singing hymns, listening to sermons, a lack of concrete belief in God and the churches archaic attitude to women and gays is why I no longer go to church. But mostly because my Sunday mornings are a sacred family time, spent in discussion over long leisurely breakfasts with several pots of darjeeling.

In my childhood I spent all day Sunday in church. This included two church services, one in the morning and one in the evening, christian endeavour in the afternoons and Sunday school.

I haven’t been to church for twenty years. But these are the two things I miss most about church. Sermons were a weekly reminder that we are not alone in the human struggle – that no matter what we are going through others are also struggling and weekly sermons encouraged us to be the best we could be in these struggles. Church was a place of community. I honestly hardly know my neighbours but when I went to church I not only caught up with my neighbours, I shared meals with them and was aware of any crisis going on in their lives as the church members rallied around those in need.

Now nothing on gods green earth would get me out of bed early on a Sunday Morning but it sometimes feels that if we could find a way of re-defining what church is, it needn’t be thrown out with the bath water.

Because I know I need reminding each week that I am not alone, I need reminding to care about others before myself and to be a better person and I need a place of community where our family extends beyond just us. I just don’t need religion.

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