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   Please note that we do not publish material ourselves directly and cannot respond to unsolicited manuscripts.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

Online – Friday 21st January
Being human – Am I just my brain? 
Dr Sharon Dirckx (Speaker & Author at OCCA – The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics)

Zoom link:

In view of the very high rates of Covid at present we have reluctantly decided to make the next Bristol CiS lecture an online event.  The lecture is the third in our current series on “Science Faith and Society – a Christian Perspective”.

Outline of lecture – Being Human – am I just my brain 
Many contemporary debates, from artificial intelligence to human rights, come down to the question of what exactly human beings are. Is there anything special about homo sapiens? Do we have a soul? Or are we just sophisticated biological machines? What are we to make of the view that humans are merely driven by their neurons? In this lecture, Dr. Dirckx, a former neuroscientist, draws from neuroscience, philosophy, theology and medicine to address vital questions on human identity.

The speaker 
Sharon Dirckx is a speaker and author at OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Originally from a scientific background, she has a PhD in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge and has held research positions in the UK and USA. Sharon speaks and lectures across the UK and beyond on science and theology, ‘mind and soul’ and the problem of evil. Sharon has appeared on several BBC programmes including Songs of Praise, Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday and Radio 4 Beyond Belief. She is also the author of the award-winning book on suffering, entitled Why?: Looking at God, evil and personal suffering (2013). Her latest book, Am I just my brain? (2019), examines questions of human identity from the perspectives of neuroscience, philosophy and theology.

Friday 25th March
End of Life dilemmas  
Dr David Randall (Christian Medical Fellowship)
Location: Christ Church Clifton, BS8 3BN which is served by both the No 8 and 505 bus services.

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.




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

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”