NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHURCHES
We are delighted to announce that, following the ECLAS project’s new funding, we will provide a new round of grants through our Scientists in Congregations programme. The SiC programme has funded 56 unique science and religion projects to date, with many forming follow-on projects and resources available for use by other churches and organisations. We are offering 8 grants of up to £10,000 for projects in 2024-25 to creatively engage with the science and religion dialogue. We hope these projects will the bring to the fore and encourage the work of scientists within their congregations and strengthen the congregation’s engagement with science and the world around them.
The way individual projects are structured has varied massively, with some looking into a single scientific discipline in a creative and/or novel way, while others have a specific approach in mind which they may bring to numerous areas of science. Successful projects have taken into account their wider local context (congregational, regional, theological and beyond) and their individual and collective strengths, bringing those to the forefront of their project and allowing for the incredible diversity and richness of projects we have seen.
“SiC has provided funding for a unique opportunity for Chester Cathedral to develop workshops on Science and Faith and offer them in schools. The schools are enthusiastic about the workshops and the demand is increasing for bookings. The cathedral has also benefited from SiC funding to support the installation of Gaia which was in the South Transept for a month: Scouts had sleepovers, 9 Primary schools worked on displays and came for a morning to reflect upon Climate Change, university students came together to give an interfaith perspective on Climate Change and there was a series of four sermons on Science and Faith during the main 10.30 cathedral service. Without the funding, none of the above could have taken place.” (Canon Jane Brooke, Vice Dean, Chester Cathedral)
Previous projects have ranged in topic from the science of light to neuroscience, to the environment, all the way to archaeology and carbon dating. We have had ecumenical projects and projects tailored to specific denominations. The variety we have seen in projects in terms of geographical, denominational, theological and scientific spread has been incredible, and I would urge you to look at the list of past projects on our webpage for some ideas of what has been done in the past (and perhaps some inspiration for an application in the future!).
Many projects have produced resources which can be used by other congregations and organisations, such as children’s activities and resources, science packs, podcast episodes, workshops and small group resources, exhibitions which have travelled to more than one location and so many more. We are delighted by the prospect of projects having lasting impact beyond the duration of the grant provided and hope these resources are used widely.
“ChaplaincyPlus in Birmingham was the recipient of a recent SiC grant to run a series of public lectures in Birmingham. We are grateful for a very generous grant which allowed us to bring some high-profile people to the city to speak. We were well supported by the team in Durham who helped in the launch of our programme and in reviewing its final stages.” (Steve Bavington, ChaplaincyPlus)
Project participants/ leaders have told us that through doing this project, they have seen people walk through their doors who have not previously done so, with many attracting many more guests than they were expecting. It is seen as part of the evangelistic role of churches, as well as one of appreciating the world God has created and science as a gift from God.
“From the start of our engagement with the Scientists in Congregations team, I was impressed by their passion for their work, their professionalism, and their genuine care for the people they work with on projects. We were supported throughout the development of our project, ‘Our Earth, Our City’, from it being an idea in an email, all the way to nearly 6000 people visiting us, and engaging with questions of science, climate change, and faith. Scientists in Congregations has without doubt made an exceptional contribution to Christ’s Church, and it has been a privilege to work with them.” (The Revd Dr Che Seabourne, Project Director for ‘Our Earth, Our City’, Holy Trinity Boar Lane)
New round updates
The 2024-25 awards cycle begins soon, with enquiries open from 14th August 2023, and an application deadline on 30th April 2024. Please get in touch for an informal one-on-one conversation if you would like to discuss a potential project bid, whether you have encountered us previously or for the first time.
“We were so grateful to be in receipt of a Scientists in Congregations (SiC) grant to launch our project – The Faith Experiment. The funding allowed us to upgrade our equipment and arrange several science-faith events without having to ask churches/attendees to meet the cost of the event, widening our potential reach. But more than that was the ongoing support and advice offered by the SiC team. The networking events allowed us to learn from and co-ordinate with other grant awardees as we became part of a community of science-faith communicators. We remain in regular contact with several of those we’ve met at SiC networking events and have been able to support other projects whilst also enjoying the support of others.” (Matthew and Davinder Gardner, Coseley Hope Baptist Church)
“Being an awardee for the Scientists in Congregations programme was a complete game changer for our project. We were able to grow our local activity from a single one-off event into a sustained effort that has begun to have a real impact locally. We were able to experiment with running different kinds of events tailored to different church and community audiences and try out similar events in new locations and churches.
As an awardee we were also able to grow our own network and connections with other SiC awardees and science/faith organisations. This led on to additional events beyond our initial SiC programme ideas.
The support we received from the team at SiC went far beyond merely the financial. From start to finish they provided many opportunities for ongoing feedback and the development of our (sometimes wild!) ideas. A lot of fun was had and we felt very much a part of the wider ECLAS family and could see our place in the larger picture of their vital work.” (Dr Gavin Merrifield, Believing Science, Holy Trinity and Christchurch, Stalybridge)
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ECLAS is launching a new round of Scientists in Congregations grants for the coming year. From today, churches can apply for grants worth £10,000 to engage with scientific topics and affirm the role of scientists...