£5,000 for Faith, Technology and Tomorrow

by Michael Ford last modified 10 Feb, 2017 09:58 AM

A project at St Mary’s Church Longfleet is to receive over £5,000 funding as part of the Scientists in Congregations grant scheme to foster better understanding between science and faith.

£5,000 for Faith, Technology and Tomorrow

Professor David Wilkinson, Bishop Richard Cheetham, Justin Tomkins, Josh Naylor

‘Faith, Technology and Tomorrow’, co-led by Justin Tomkins and Josh Naylor, will run a series of activities and events to explore how the Christian faith informs issues arising from innovations in medicine, environmental sciences and technology.

The sessions will provide opportunities for scientists, medical professionals, engineers and those with no background in science to meet together, both from church congregations and the wider community.

Project Leader Justin Tomkins explains, “The project grows out of St Mary’s location next to Poole Hospital and two GP surgeries. Eight events held between March and November 2017 will provide opportunities to explore how Christian faith might illuminate questions of medicine and the environment in tomorrow’s technological context.

“The project will enable scientists, medical professionals, engineers and those with no background in science, from church congregations and the wider community to meet together. Video recordings will be taken both of project meetings and of interviews with participants in order to produce a short video of project discoveries.

“It is hoped that this video will then be made available to schools and churches to prompt further investigation and discoveries in the field of science and faith. Dates of the project events will be available shortly.”

Scientists in Congregations forms part of Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science, a three-year Durham University project run in partnership with the Church of England. The scheme is open to all mainstream Christian churches, and a total of ten projects will receive funding.

All ten projects aim to help churchgoers engage confidently with science, raising the profile of Christians whose vocation is science-related and changing the debate about science and faith in churches and communities.

Rt Rev Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston, and one of the co-leaders of Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science, alongside Durham University Professors David Wilkinson and Tom McLeish, said: "I have been very excited and encouraged by the range and quality of these local projects – they bear witness to the widespread and vibrant desire to enable a fruitful and stimulating conversation between science and faith which is much needed in contemporary society.”

The original CofE release is here.

The full list of the ten successful projects in the second wave of Scientists in Congregations grants:

1 Debunking the myth: empowering young people to be Christians in science
St Andrew’s Church, Bishopthorpe and the Archbishop of York Youth Trust
A day conference for secondary schools in the York area, engaging young people on science and faith and introducing them to scientists who are Christians.

2 Lent Course
Exeter
Includes a panel discussion held at Exeter University on science and Christian ethics, and a debate at Exeter Cathedral with support from the Bishops of Exeter and Crediton.

3 Exploring Science and Christian Faith in a Rural Setting
Tyne Valley, west of Newcastle and Gateshead
A series of monthly events and debates on science and faith topics, with speakers drawn from universities in the North East.

4 Faith in the Questions
Riding Lights Theatre Company/ St Michael le Belfrey, York
A dramatic performance based on nature imagery within the Book of Job, to be followed by question and answer sessions in the style of ‘Café Scientifique’. To be held in St Michael-le-Belfrey on three occasions during the 2017 York Festival of Ideas in June. A service celebrating the gift of science and scientists will be held to conclude the events.

5 Faith, Technology and Tomorrow
St Mary’s Church Longfleet, Poole, Dorset
Opportunities for scientists, medical professionals, engineers and those with no background in science, from church congregations and the wider community to meet together. The project will run a series of activities and events to explore how Christian faith might illuminate questions of medicine and the environment in tomorrow’s technological context.

6 From Enlightenment to Entanglement
Derby
Public lectures, Evensong services with scientists from Derby University and ‘science in the cathedral’ sessions to raise awareness of the contribution of Derby’s Christian community to the Enlightenment. The project will also feature sessions with Christian engineers in discussion with leading theologians.

7 Re:Think Worcester
Encouraging scientists in congregations to engage in the Science and Faith Debate run by Bible and Science Worcester, an inter denominational group made up of members of Worcester churches with scientific and technology backgrounds. The project will run a series of presentations on science and faith aimed at 16 to 25 year olds from both church and non-church backgrounds.

8 Science and Theology: Walking Through Nature
Trinity Church, Lewes
The ‘Ecosystem Service’ walks start and finish at each of the church’s three sites in Lewes. The walks will examine the environment, with explanation from an ecologist and Christian teaching, theological reflection and prayer by a pastor or minister.

9 Sing of God and Science
All Saints, Teversham, Cambridge
A project to create a book of songs on the theme of science and faith, working with a group of primary schools in Ely Diocese. Copies of the booklet will be sent free to all 80 CofE primary schools in the diocese who will be invited to give dramatic presentations of one of the songs at Ely Cathedral Science Festival in May 2017. Some of the schools will make presentations at the festival of songs they have written themselves on the theme of science and faith.

10 Water of Life: Our faith and a changing climate
Honley with Brockholes, West Yorkshire
Engaging Christian congregations in the Holme Valley in deepening understanding of climate change, using the River Holme as a local example. Led by the congregations of St Mary’s in Honley and St George’s in Brockholes, West Yorkshire.

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