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Launch of Scientists in Congregations 2020/1

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Churches can now apply for grants totalling £400,000 to engage with scientific topics and affirm the role of scientists within their communities.

ECLAS’ Scientists in Congregations programme has 20 grants available worth up to £20,000 each. Applications are open to churches in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, of any Christian denomination. Grants could support events such as exhibitions, public talks, theatre productions, or online activities which explore a scientific issue or questions of science and faith.

This will be the fourth round of Scientists in Congregations; the most recent previous round took place in 2019 and funded events such as art installations, science fairs, and workshops including Messy Church Does Science, Ely Cathedral’s Science Festival, and a production from Riding Lights Theatre Company centred on the Book of Job and questions in faith and science.

The Scientists in Congregations programme seeks strategic churches that have strong ties with local communities. Up to £10,000 supports a primary activity in that church and up to £10,000 more supports a follow-on project. This could reproduce the activity in another congregation, adapt it for a different context, train leaders for similar activities, or develop resources for broader engagement.

Revd Prof David Wilkinson, our Chief Project Director, said: “In the last year, it’s been impossible to overstate the importance of scientific truth-seeking, be it on Covid-19, climate science, or sociology.

“Through our Scientists in Congregations programme we want to affirm and celebrate the vocation of scientists. These grants will enable churches to create spaces to ask questions, engage with exciting or emerging scientific issues, and benefit from the knowledge and experience of scientists in their communities. We are looking forward to seeing a range of creative submissions that seek to deepen the conversation around science and faith.”

Applications are open from 2 November 2020 until 23 April 2021.

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