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UK News

Big grant awarded to churches, theological colleges to explore science and faith

by Alex Collett

Churches and theological collges n Durham have been encouraged to explore the connection between science and faith. 

An project called Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science ,led out of St John’s College, Durham University with the University of York and the Church of England, has awarded £125,000 to ten churches and three theological colleges.

The aim is to get people to creatively explore science and theology through engaging activities. 

 Rev Prof David Wilkinson, ECLAS Project Co-Director, said: "We are thrilled to support church leaders and people studying for ordination to explore how science can enrich and expand our view of faith. 

"These Scientists in Congregations projects imaginatively demonstrate how science is at the heart of Christian faith, recognising it as a gift from God and recognising the vocation of scientists.

"Meanwhile, the Science for Seminaries projects will give people training for ministry the opportunity to engage with modern scientific and ethical questions, which is vital for effective pastoral care."

The projects span a range of ecumenical networks and denominations and will explore the relationship between science and faith through engagement activities.

One successful project is "Faith in Mind", run by Sunderland Connect, an interdenominational network of churches serving the needs of vulnerable people in their community. 

Deb Fozzard, the Project co-director at Faith in Mind, said: "The training we can now provide to Churches will bring insight into the mind of someone with addiction. This is a valuable tool for the Churches and will empower and equip them to be more effective when supporting those caught up in addiction".

Thanks to a grant of £10,720, Faith in Mind will explore mental health issues through the lens of neuroscience and psychology. 

Workshops for church leaders and volunteers on topics such as intergenerational trauma and the neuroscience of addiction will equip church leaders to better serve people affected by these challenges.

Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said: "Sunderland Connect Network are engaged in important missional work. This project promises to be of great value to the faith communities and missional endeavours in the area."

The full list of churches and organisations receiving funding to participate in Scientists in Congregations 2022-23 is:
"    St Albans Cathedral
"    Sunderland Connect Network
"    York Minster
"    Chester Cathedral
"    The Bible Reading Fellowship
"    Christ Church West Green, London
"    Baptist Union Environment Network (BUEN)
"    St Paul's, Knightsbridge
"    Parish of Great Missenden with Ballinger and Little Hampden, Oxfordshire
"    St Mark's Church/Xplore!, Wrexham

Listen to Premier's interview with Prof David Wilkinson here: 

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