Wesley Methodist Church

A church for all in the heart of the city

Science Meets Faith

Second Monday of the month from October to June, 7.15 pm for 7.45 pm


We present world class lectures on issues of Science and Faith, sponsored by Cambridge University Press. 
Please see below for details of our next lecture and the 2018/19 lecture programme.  

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Our next meeting:

Monday 10 December 2018, at 7.45 pm

“The Science of Christian Character Development” 

Dr Roger Bretherton 

Principal Lecturer for Enterprise, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln

Dr Roger Bretherton is Principal Lecturer for Enterprise in the School of Psychology, at the University of Lincoln. He is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was the 2016 recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. His teaching, research and consultancy centre on Character Strengths and Virtues - the positive qualities of character related to psychological wellbeing. He works extensively in psychological consultancy in the public and private sector. Recent projects include an investigation of the benefits of humility in academic leaders (funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education), a pilot project training volunteer mental health workers in solution-focused interventions (funded by the Waynflete Charitable Trust), and a collaboration with Zest theatre company to teach psychological skills to young people through an innovative production, Thrive (funded by Arts Council England). In 2017, he received a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation to develop, pilot and evaluate a character strengths course to be delivered through church small groups. 

In recent years, empirical evidence has indicated that psychological interventions targeting character strengths (CSs) can produce significant improvements in psychological wellbeing. Many of these interventions are relevant to religious and spiritual communities, and have been welcomed as such. Nevertheless, while some empirical work has been completed, CSs have not received wide dissemination and evaluation in Christian churches. This presentation outlines the initial research and development of a multi-strength intervention with the working title ‘The Character Course for Churches’ (CCC), a three year project to adapt, disseminate and evaluate CS interventions with church-based small groups across the U.K. The course covers key CSs chosen based on empirical literature: learning, hope, love, gratitude, forgiveness, humour, persistence and curiosity. The rationale, structure and content of the course will be outlined, alongside the various conceptual and methodological dilemmas raised by the interplay between psychological, philosophical and theological sources

Programme for 2018/19

Listen Again

Recordings of many of the lectures from last year's series are available to listen again.