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Awards at Bishopthorpe for Scientists in Congregations Scheme

Tuesday 11th October 2016

The Archbishop of York will welcome and present awards to representatives of eight projects which are part of the Scientists in Congregations Scheme. The event will take place on 21 October at Bishopthorpe Palace and is part of the ‘Equipping Christian Religious Leaders in an Age of Science’ project being run by Durham University in partnership with the Church of England.

The eight projects have received funding of up to £10,000 in the first round of the Scientists in Congregations scheme, aimed at helping 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.


To watch the video: 

The Archbishop of York said, “Awe and wonder are at the heart of both religion and science.  I am delighted that this event will recognise those who have done so much to see our universe with different eyes. As we gaze upwards and outwards we come to see more fully our place in this extraordinary created order and we see more deeply into the heart of our Creator God.”

The Rev Dr Kathryn Pritchard, Scientists in Congregations project leader, said: "We have been delighted with the calibre and variety of bids for this first phase of Scientists in Congregations. There is clearly an eagerness to help congregations of all shapes and sizes engage more confidently and joyously with science, with the insights that emerge from cutting edge scientific research, and with scientists and their work. These projects are each contributing, in small increments, to a shift in the mood of the faith-science conversation in this country which is fantastic.”

The projects represented at Bishopthorpe include:

1 'Take your vicar to the lab' - St Albans Diocese

Scientists will be invited to address CofE services and to take clergy on tours of laboratories.

2 From Dinosaurs to DNA - Ely Cathedral science festival

An ambitious science festival celebrating science, medicine and technology to be hosted by the Cathedral.

3 Church Scientific, Leeds

Café evenings open to all in Baptist churches in Leeds, where science students and professionals from congregations across the city will give talks leading into discussion sessions.

4 Confident Christian Engagement with Science - St John's, Lindow, Wilmslow, Cheshire

The church is situated at the junction of the Manchester Science corridor and the Cheshire Science Corridor with members employed in areas including universities, teaching hospitals and the nearby Jodrell Bank Observatory. The project will include 'meet the scientists' sessions, teaching presentations, a day conference, site visits to local laboratories and an essay writing competition.

5 Crossing the Gap - benefice of St Matthew's, Harwell and All Saints', Chilton, Oxfordshire

The benefice of Harwell and Chilton includes the Harwell Campus, housing the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, the Science and Technologies Facilities Council and the UK and European Space Agencies along with nearly 200 science oriented companies. The project aims to promote confidence in the compatibility of Christian faith and scientific endeavour through a family science club undertaking science activities and through a science discussion forum for adults.

6 Grace Church, Truro, (part of the New Frontiers Network)

Exploring the big questions concerning science and faith through live interviews and high quality videos of church members who work in the sciences.

7 Messy Church Science, Bible Reading Fellowship

Messy churches give families and others the chance to worship together in a creative and participatory way. The grant will be used to develop materials to help Messy Church leaders to explore aspects of the Christian faith, demonstrating that faith and science are complementary and helping adults and children to appreciate the wonder of creation that science reveals and encounter God in fresh ways. A book with accompanying videos will be made to promote the work.

8 Cathedral, Isle of Man

Project will use church discussion groups led by scientists to produce a series of booklets for young people offering a tour of the cathedral gardens from a variety of science and faith perspectives.

To read the address given by the Archbishop at the Award Ceremony click here.


To find out more about the projects see:


Media wishing to attend the event should contact Elizabeth Addy at email: or at tel. 01904 772365

Photographs following the event will be available from Elizabeth Addy at email: or at tel. 01904 772365

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