Exploring Science & Theology – this was a 21-month project developed by St Ternan’s Episcopal Church, Banchory and Christ Church, Kincardine O’Neil, two Scottish Episcopal Churches on Deeside, Aberdeenshire. It ran from spring 2014 to winter 2015 and was funded by the Templeton Foundation’s Scientists in Congregations, Scotland: a grant scheme administered by St Andrew’s University.

Chris Cotterill 003 600pxwThis site includes materials collected and developed during the project, which explored how humans make meaning through science and theology, which are not mutually exclusive. We developed our understanding and appreciation of life and its mysteries through conversation with others on the journey.

Pilgrimage – The Deeside Way, a walking and cycling trail here in North East Scotland, was the location for much of our activity, and thus the theme of pilgrimage informed our work. The idea of travelling to a sacred place for healing or contemplation is a centuries-old practice in many religions; it may also be a kind of holiday (holy festival).   The difference between a walk and a pilgrimage may be just a matter of intention, although often whatever we may intend when we start, things happen on the way. We meet strangers who become friends. We encounter great beauty and deep struggle. We discover something new. And often we find that we arrive back where we started, with new perceptions of what was always there.

Such is the journey of good scientific exploration, and such is the journey of faith.

When seeking funding for this work, we noted: ‘Faith deepens through meaningful conversation with others on the journey, and young people grow in their faith through engagement with adults who they see are continuing to learn.’ Jane Regan, Toward an Adult Church.

We aimed to encourage people of all ages, outlooks and conditions to spend meaningful time with each other.

Resources – we hope these will nurture your pilgrimage pathways in some small way, whether it is the thought-provoking talks recorded from the Conferences, or the visuals and other evocative images found in the Albums, Readings on Walks, and Blog. The Game is an engaging method for talking through potentially contentious issues. It works best in small groups, and takes about 90 minutes. Any future Events will be posted on the related Facebook page.