A Stalybridge church has secured nearly £20,000 in funding to undertake science-based outreach activities in the local community and churches.
Holy Trinity and Christ Church has been awarded £19,877.40 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 Corporation Street church 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 award will be used to fund a new project called ‘Believing Science’, which will operate across three churches in the North of England - beginning in Stalybridge with follow-on work in Wakefield and Blackpool.
The project aims to transform local churches into active, pro-science centres to encourage interest in and enthusiasm for science in their local communities.
Dr Gavin Merrifield
As well as providing teaching on science and faith to the churches involved, the project will organise several community-focused science-themed activities through local schools, foodbanks, youth groups and other avenues as they arise.
Each church will also host a large scale, science-based, family fun day for their local community called a 'Wonder Day'. This day will offer opportunities for creative, experiential encounters with science by providing workshops, shows and hands-on opportunities for people in their local areas.
The first of these was piloted at Holy Trinity in Stalybridge in the summer of 2019 at which over 400 people attended.
Dr Gavin Merrifield, Project Co-Director, said: "Science should be a joy and an opportunity for everybody to enjoy the wonder and beauty of our world and the universe. Learning more about science is also a way to unlock the potential of individuals and our communities. We are looking forward to exploring all of this and more through our new project and thank ECLAS for supporting us in this."
The Revd Gary Kennaugh, Project Co-Director and Vicar of Holy Trinity in Stalybridge, commented: "This is going to be a fantastic project for local churches and the local communities, we are praying for those who take part to experience how science can help us to find out more about our loving creator God and get closer to Jesus."
Reverend Gary Kennaugh