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Faith in the Questions
Riding Lights Theatre Company, Tom McLeish and Stephen Smye

  • Thursday 8 June 2017, 7.30PM to 9:30pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required - 01904 613000
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  • St Michael le Belfrey (map)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

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A respected scientist and a Christian, Job’s work is wrestling with the unpredictable as well as predictable structure of the Universe. Is God really in control? And when his personal world is shaken to the core, how can he re-assemble the pieces of the puzzle – professionally and spiritually?

Compared with the centuries long hand-in-hand relationship between religious faith and scientific enquiry, recent debate has, for many people, become mistrustful and sharply adversarial. Which side is God on? Or is this the wrong question to ask? This is just one of any number of good and provocative questions thrown out by Faith in the Questions, a combination of theatre and scientific discussion.

Presented by Riding Lights Theatre Company and The Belfry, Faith in the Questions features a new one act play by Nigel Forde, Counting the Clouds, followed by conversation with leading scientists Tom McLeish and Stephen Smye.

Come along and raise your questions…

About the speakers and performers

Riding Lights Theatre Company is one of the UK’s most productive and long-established independent theatre companies. Founded in York over 30 years ago, partly through the initiative of a city-centre church, the company continues to take innovative, accessible theatre into all kinds of communities far and wide.

Its aim is to create unforgettable, entertaining theatre in response to current issues and the hopes and fears of the world we share. While the company’s roots are in a Christian ethos, its work is open to everyone, using faith as a springboard to explore all aspects of life. Find out more at

Professor Tom McLeish FRS is Professor of Physics at Durham University and also chairs the Royal Society’s Education Committee. After a first degree in physics and PhD (1987) in polymer physics at Cambridge University, a lectureship at Sheffield University in complex fluid physics led to a chair at Leeds University from 1993. 

He has since won several awards both in Europe (Weissenberg Medal) and the USA (Bingham Medal) for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, and ran a large collaborative and multidisciplinary research programme in this field from 1999-2009, co-funded by EPSRC and industry. 

 In 2014 OUP published his book Faith and Wisdom in Science, followed in 2017 by Let There Be Science, co-authored with school physics teacher Dave Hutchings. He has been a Reader in the Anglican Church since 1993, in the dioceses of Ripon and York. From 2008-2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2012 he was made Vice-President of Science by the Institute of Physics (IoP).

Professor Stephen Smye is a Specialty Cluster Lead for the NIHR Clinical Research Network based at King’s College London.  He is also Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds.  He was Research and Innovation Director at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals from 2004- 2017. 

Professor Smye is a medical physicist with degrees from Cambridge University, Imperial College, and Leeds University. He is a member of the NIHR  Strategy Board and the Royal College of Physicians’ Standing Committee on Academic Medicine, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2005. He was also Director of the NIHR Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care for Leeds, York and Bradford (2010-2013). His main research interest is in developing mathematical models in medicine and biology and he has been a co-investigator on a number of major grant awards from the Wellcome Trust and EPSRC. He is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London and a Professorial Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. He was awarded an OBE for services to Health Research in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.


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