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Great Yarmouth Minster wins funding award for science-faith outreach

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The Minster, part of the Parish of Great Yarmouth, 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 Minster project will be focussing on renewable energy, a key industry for the town. Centred around a week of events next summer, the project will draw in local schools, colleges, organisations, and businesses to explore how we have reached climate crisis, and how renewable energy can help us build a better future.

The Revd Helen Lynch, Assistant Curate for the Parish of Great Yarmouth who is overseeing the project said:

“We’re really excited to be planning this project which will welcome people from Great Yarmouth and further afield to the Minster. In the Church we feel passionately that we need to work to put right the ways we’ve damaged our planet, and look for ways that we can work in harmony with the earth, and all the plants and creatures that we share it with.”

Scientists in Congregations is a programme run by the research project Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS). The ECLAS project is led from St John’s College, Durham University in partnership with the University of York and the Church of England. Its directors include the Revd Prof David Wilkinson and physicist Prof Tom McLeish. ECLAS and the Scientists in Congregations grants are funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. ECLAS has distributed £665,000 to over 70 churches through its Scientists in Congregations programme since 2014.

The Revd Prof David Wilkinson, Project Director of ECLAS and Principal of St John’s College, said: “We are delighted to be working with churches on such promising projects, and look forward to seeing how congregations and the communities they serve engage with science and faith in fresh and exciting ways. We are proud to offer additional funding for follow-on projects for the first time this year, which will help churches reach even more people with the message that science is a gift from God.”

The Bishop of Norwich will be taking part in the event week, and is very much behind the project. He said: “The area of renewable energy is of particular concern to the Church of England, having committed ourselves to be carbon neutral by 2030. As the lead for the national Church on the environment, I am really encouraged that the Parish of Great Yarmouth has identified this area for this project. The science behind this event is very relevant, as we attempt to work together as a society to tackle the climate crisis.”