What's not to like about church? Hanging out with friends on a Sunday morning, singing songs and drinking wine.

But the latest census results show very few of us believe in the big man upstairs.

So a group of atheists have tackled the dilemma by setting up Brighton and Hove's first godless church.

Out are the likes of Bread of Heaven and Morning has Broken - in are feel good classics such as Build me up Buttercup and Bonnie Tyler's Holding out for a Hero.

Gone are the sermons on Noah, Moses and Joseph and in their place talks on science, philosophy and psychology.

The Sunday Assembly started in London in January this year.

It proved so popular that a group of atheists in Brighton and Hove have decided to bring the movement to Sussex.

The branch will hold their first service at St Andrew's Church, Waterloo Street, Hove, on September 22.

The Argus:

Organiser Simon Clare, from Hove, said: “I think there is certainly a gap in the market here.

“The aim is to take all the good bits of religion and going to church and leave out the bad bits.

“We want people to come along, listen to some speakers, sing some songs and be able to leave feeling happier about life - without having to resort to any spiritual stuff.

“We want people to come and feel part of a community and have fun - but we can't promise eternal life.”

Organisers have visited the sister London event held in Bethnal Green but have vowed to give the Brighton and Hove parish its own unique feel.

Many of the replacement hymns have been decided on and a database of inspirational speakers to talk on topics as wide ranging as science and philosophy to happiness and hope is also being compiled.

Last year Brighton and Hove was dubbed the UK's most godless city after 42% of city residents described themselves as having no religion in the census.

Mr Clare added: “This isn't about criticising Christianity. You won't hear us putting the boot in during services.

“We just want to create a community feel and make people feel better about life.”

The group will meet on a monthly basis with the long term aim of helping set up various interest groups and encouraging volunteering.

For more details visit facebook.com/sundayassemblybrighton.

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