Chester Cathedral has been awarded £4,718 to explore the relationship between science and faith through the church engagement programme Scientists in Congregations, which is run by Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS).
The Cathedral is one of 22 churches and organisations in England and Wales to receive grants totalling £400,000, to be used over the next 18 months on a creative, public-facing project.
The interactive workshops are to be run by Cathedral Education Officer, Jen Stratford, and will offer children and adults the opportunity to explore light through experiment and then explore the metaphor of light in the Bible. The first set of ten workshops will focus on light and how Jesus is described as the Light of the World. They will use scientific theories covered by the curriculum to investigate how we see objects, how light changes the projection of an image, the way light travels and how light is reflected.
Canon Jane Brooke, Canon Missioner and Vice Dean at Chester Cathedral said
“We’re thrilled to be able to be running these in-person and COVID-safe sessions with a range of primary schools across Chester. It will be a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn in a practical way about the scientific properties of light and connect that to Christian teaching.”
Scientists in Congregations is a programme run by the research project Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS). The ECLAS project is led from St John’s College, Durham University in partnership with the University of York and the Church of England. Its directors include the Revd Prof David Wilkinson and physicist Prof Tom McLeish. ECLAS and the Scientists in Congregations grants are funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. ECLAS has distributed £665,000 to over 70 churches through its Scientists in Congregations programme since 2014.
The Revd Prof David Wilkinson, Project Director of ECLAS and Principal of St John’s College, said:
“We are delighted to be working with churches on such promising projects, and look forward to seeing how congregations and the communities they serve engage with science and faith in fresh and exciting ways. We are proud to offer additional funding for follow-on projects for the first time this year, which will help churches reach even more people with the message that science is a gift from God.”
The full list of churches and organisations receiving funding to participate in Scientists in Congregations 2021-22 is:
• ChaplaincyPlus, Birmingham
• Chester Cathedral
• Cornerstone Methodist Church, Wadebridge
• Exeter Cathedral
• Great Yarmouth Minster
• Holy Trinity and Christchurch, Stalybridge
• Hull Minster
• Lichfield Cathedral
• Liverpool Cathedral
• New Hope Baptist Church, Coseley
• Radio Maria England
• Redeemed Christian Church of God, Sevenoaks
• Riding Lights Theatre Company
• St Andrew’s Church, Great Yeldham
• St George’s Church, Leeds
• St German’s Cathedral
• St Lawrence Church, Gloucester
• St Mark’s Church/Xplore!, Wrexham
• St Mary and St Eanswythe, Folkestone
• St Peter Mancroft, Norwich
• The Bible Reading Fellowship
• Wembley Family Church
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