Don’t miss this unique opportunity – new awards programme launched for congregations in England!
Bids open today, February 4th, for the innovative ‘Scientists in Congregations’ scheme. We are inviting churches across England to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to fund projects fostering a better understanding of the interrelationship of science and religion.

This scheme is designed to bring the conversation about science and theology into the learning and worshipping lives of congregations. We are looking for creative and context-friendly proposals that could be valuable for large or small congregations, all-age or for specific groups, in rural as well as urban areas as well as groups of churches.

‘Scientists in Congregations’ England is not only designed to equip church members better to engage with today’s big religion-science questions, we also envisage many projects having a wider reach to those in the surrounding community who do not usually attend church.

For more details on the project criteria please click here and for the downloadable application form click here.

Nigel Cooper on Ecosystem Services

Congratulations to Nigel Cooper, Chaplain at ARU, for being one of the “world;s leading authorities” contributing to the Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services ed Marion Potschin, Roy Haines-Young, Robert Fish, R. Kerry Turner: ISBN 9781138025080; £135 but 20% discount with code DC361

About the Book

The idea that nature provides services to people is one of the most powerful concepts to have emerged over the last two decades. It is shaping our understanding of the role that biodiverse ecosystems play in the environment and their benefits for humankind. As a result, there is a growing interest in operational and methodological issues surrounding ecosystem services amongst environmental managers, and many institutions are now developing teaching programmes to equip the next generation with the skills needed to apply the concepts more effectively.

This handbook provides a comprehensive reference text on ecosystem services, integrating natural and social science (including economics). Collectively the chapters, written by the world’s leading authorities, demonstrate the importance of biodiversity for people, policy and practice. They also show how the value of ecosystems to society can be expressed in monetary and non-monetary terms, so that the environment can be better taken into account in decision making. The significance of the ecosystem service paradigm is that it helps us redefine and better communicate the relationships between people and nature. It is shown how these are essential to resolving challenges such as sustainable development and poverty reduction, and the creation of a green economy in developing and developed world contexts.

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New Parish Nurse commissioned at Balsham for the “Seven Parishes”

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Congratulations to Teresa Latimier, our newest Parish Nurse in the Diocese of Ely, whom I commissioned this morning at Balsham. That’s her on your right in the first photo above, with Regional PN co-ordinator Claire Gillett and local Priest in Charge Dr Julie Norris – along with a selection of locals past and present. (The new benefice choir was also on parade.)

We celebrated Candlemas together, sending everyone out with a candle to keep lit at home as a sign of our shared commitment to take light and life into our localities, not just through the PN project but through the life and work of each one of us.

I was asked to put my sermons script up, but was speaking from notes, so I hope these help (look below the “fold” to find them):

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The Wise Learn by Doing

The Wise Learn by Doing

It’s very good indeed to have Sig’s reflections here both in summary and on film. Grammar and the arts have been a big part of my own academic study and working with Sig and the Ordered Universe project have helped me crystallize for myself the essential relationship between the study of the arts – the whole business of “a liberal education” – and the restoration within God’s purpose of the world to his intended order. Three cheers for a non-utilitarian philosophy and purpose of education.

The Ordered Universe Project

The purpose and point of learning were questions that kept Grosseteste awake at night and dominate his surviving writings. From the treatise on the liberal arts, the first paragraph of which stresses the place of the arts in leading human operations to perfection by correcting the, to the sermons, dicta and later theological writings, the ends to which learning are directed are never far from the surface of Grosseteste’s thought. In this he was hardly unique, although his questions and reflections provoke particular interest. As Sigbjørn Sønnesyn showed in his fascinating seminar to the Durham Medieval Thought Seminar, the ways in which twelfth century western thinkers raised questions on the purpose of learning were connected intimately to their knowledge of and engagement with ancient models and lived practice and experience in community. Aristotle, Augustine and the author known as Pseudo-Dionysius are amongst the most dominant of classical and patristic authors for the…

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Church – but not as we knew it

Ed Olsworth-Peters speaking to the newly reconstituted Ely Bishop’s Council on our journey to a “Blended Economy” of traditional and Fresh Expression Churches.
Did you know that most of our Ely Fresh Expressions are Rural?

Or that although only 4% of “millennials” (18-34 year olds) are practising Christians, they make up 21% of all practising Christians (national figures)?

The Saints of St James’

St James

After the 10am service this morning at St James, Cambridge. My phone camera didn’t get the focus right so I’ve had to play art games with the shot to get something usable, but I can assure you that the wonderful folk there are (a) real, (b) normal and (c) none were harmed during the process. A very good time was had by all and the toast and marmalade between the services wins this year’s Paddington Award (so far).