Bristol CiS is a local group aimed at people in and around the Bristol area who are interested in discussing the relationship between science and faith. Please email Prof Andrew Halestrap  – [email protected] for more information. CiS Bristol now has a facebook page –

As well as our lecture series we continue to run a discussion group and more recently a small group has been set up to support and encourage Christians who are actively engaged in the scientific workplace, and especially those at the start of their scientific career. Please contact Prof Andrew Halestrap  – [email protected] for more information.


Brinklings is a small, support group of Christian writers based near Bristol.  We have tended to meet in person from time to time for fellowship and discussions. Of course, face-to-face meetings have not been possible during the pandemic, but we do hope to meet again once restrictions have been lifted.   To get in contact, please email [email protected].   Please note that we do not publish material ourselves directly and cannot respond to unsolicited manuscripts.

Upcoming Talks 

2022 Programme

Thursday 5th May
Exoplanets, aliens and God – who is out there and what is the real future of humanity?
Prof David Wilkinson (Principal of St John’s College and Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University):
Location: Christ Church Clifton, BS8 3BN which is served by both the No 8 and 505 bus services.

Professor David Wilkinson
David Wilkinson is President of St John’s College, Durham University.  He is also Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion.  He is married to Alison and has two grown up children, Adam and Hannah.  His background is research in theoretical astrophysics, where he gained a PhD in the study of star formation, the chemical evolution of galaxies and terrestrial mass extinctions.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.   After this research he trained for the Methodist ministry, serving in a variety of appointments.  His current work at Durham University involves the relationship of the Christian faith to contemporary culture, from science to pop-culture.  David also holds a PhD in Systematic Theology where he explored the future of the physical universe. His recent books include Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe (T&T Clark) Science, Religion and SETI (OUP), and When I pray what does God do? (Monarch). David is a Canon at St Albans Cathedral and Ecumenical Fellow at Liverpool Cathedral.   He is a frequent contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4.

Outline of the lecture
In the light of the discovery of exoplanets and the launch of new telescopes such as James Webb, is it likely that we might find evidence for alien life?  And if we do would this be a problem for Christian belief?  David Wilkinson explores the current science and the long tradition of other worlds within Christian theology to suggest that the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence should be affirmed by Christians but also that Christians have something to contribute to this search.



For those of you who could not attend, there is audio and video of many of the previous talks, kindly put together by Dr Roger Tucker on his website outsideecho.

Previous talks:

2021 to 2022 – Science, Faith and Society Series

March 2022 – Dr David Randall – End of Life dilemmas  
Jan 2022 – Dr Sharon Dirckx – Being human – Am I just my brain? 
Nov 2021 – Prof Keith Fox – Genes, Free Will and Human Identity – do scientists have a right to change our genes
Oct 2021 – Prof Andrew Halestrap – Science as a Christian Vocation

2019 to 2020 – Science, Faith and Society Series

Due to C-19 further talks were cancelled during 2020

3) January 2020 – Lizzie Henderson – Science, creativity and faith in the classroom
2) December 2019 – Professor Tom McLeish FRS – The poetry and music of science – comparing creativity in science and art
1) Sept 2019 – Professor John Wood – Science as the new priesthood – what is truth now? Can we dare to admit ignorance?

2018 to 2019 – Our Fragile Planet – a Christian Perspective (a series of 8 lectures)

8) June 2019 – Revd Dr Chris Sunderland – Beliefs, values and commitments – Why science alone is not enough to solve climate change
7) March 2019 – Revd Dr John Weaver – Caring for the Earth 3
6) Jan 2019 – Dr Martin Hodson and Rev Margot Hodson – Caring for the Earth 2
5) Nov 2018 – Prof Simon Stuart – Caring for the Earth 1
4) Sept 2018 – Dr Robert Sluka – Caring for the Oceans 2
3) June 2018 – Prof Meric Srokosz – Caring for the Oceans 1
2) March 2018 – Prof Euan Nisbet – Caring for the Atmosphere: Are we breaking the Rainbow?
1) Jan 2018 – Dr Hilary Marlow – Creation Care and the Kingdom of God

Nov 2017 – Professor Sir Colin Humphreys – “Science and the Historicity of the Bible”

Oct 2017 – Dr Jennifer Wiseman – “Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and Life: Investigating a Fruitful Universe”

Sept 2017 – Alan Millard – “Debates in Bible Archaeology”

June 2017 – Dr Ruth Bancewiz – “Wonders of the Living World: Biology and Belief”

March 2017 –  Professor Tom McLeish – Faith and Wisdom in Science

January 2017 – Prof Andrew Briggs – “The Penultimate Curiosity: How Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions”

Nov 2016 – Prof Keith Ward – “Why Stephen Hawking is nearer to God than he thinks”

Sept 2016 – Dr Ian Holyer – “Computers and Life”

June-2016 – Dr Lisa Goddard – “The cognitive science of religion – are we born to believe?”

Mar-2016 – Prof Glynn Harrison – “Ego Trip: does the self esteem movement promote, or impede, human flourishing?”

Jan-2016 – Prof Alasdair Coles – “What can neuroscience tell us about faith?”

Nov-15-Alistair McGrath on “Science, Faith, and God: Richard Dawkins vs C S Lewis on the Meaning of Life”

Jun-15-Ernest Lucas on Theology of Origins

Mar-15-Rt Rev Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon, on the biology of embryos (origin of human life)

Jan-2015-Chris Southgate on Origin of Life

Nov-14-Peter Bussey on Big Bang

Jun-14- Dr Stuart Judge: What can neuroscience tell us about free will?

Mar-2014- Dr Eric Alborne: Science Education: a most Christian calling.

Oct-13- Professor Andrew Sims: Is Faith Delusion? Why Religion is good for your Health (attendance 91)

Jun-13- Prof John Wyatt, Beginning Life in a Brave New World

Feb-2013- Rev Dr Justin Tomkins, Better People or Enhanced Humans?

Oct-12- Dr Kate Distin, Is religion a virus of the mind? A response to the New Atheists

May-12- Dr John Bimson, Trinity College Bristol: “Thinking Through the Fall”

Mar-12- Dr Denis Alexander, The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion: “Human Evolution, Adam and Eve Genetics and the Bible”

Feb-2012- Prof Bob Whilte FRS, University of Cambridge: “Natural Disasters: Acts of God? A Christian geophysicist’s perspective”

Oct-11-Dr Rhoda Hawkins, University of Sheffield:  “Necessary evils? From forest fires to disease”

May-11-Dr Rodney Holder, Faraday Institute: “God and the Multiverse – A Response to Stephen Hawking”

Feb-11-Dr Ard Louis, Department of Physics, University of Oxford: “Self-assembly and evolution: models, metaphors and meaning”

Nov-10- Professor John Bryant, Professor Emeritus of Cell and Molecular Biology, Exeter University: “Synthia – synthetic life or cells and spin?”

Oct-10-Professor Ross McKenzie, Department of Physics, University of Queensland, Australia: “Emergence”

Jun-10- Dr Jonathan Doye, Lecturer in Theoretical Chemistry, Oxford and Fellow of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion: “Chance, Providence and Free Will”

Mar-10-Revd Dr Ernest Lucas, Vice-President, Bristol Baptist College: “Are Evolution and Genesis 1-3 compatible?”

Nov-09-  Professor Andrew Halestrap, Professor of Biochemistry at Bristol University: “Science, Suffering and the Love of God”