A PROJECT at a church in Poole is set to receive more than £5,000 in funding as part of a scheme aimed at improving people’s understanding of science and faith.

The Scientists in Congregations grant has been awarded to St Mary’s Church in Longfleet for “faith, technology and tomorrow” - a series of activities and events which explore how the Christian faith addresses issues arising from innovations in medicine, environmental sciences and technology.

The sessions aim to 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 said: “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 a three-year Durham University project, run in partnership with the Church of England, entitled Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science. The scheme is open to all mainstream Christian churches and a total of 10 projects will receive funding.

All 10 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.”