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‘The Heavens Declare…’ at St Patrick’s, Ballyclog

A ‘world class’ panel of speakers contributed to a lively discussion of the wonders of space and faith at the recent ‘The Heavens Declare…’ event at St Patrick’s Church, Ballyclog, Diocese of Armagh.

Professor Michael Burton (Director of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium), Professor Monica Grady CBE (Professor of Interplanetary and Space Sciences at The Open University), Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Richard Clarke, and astronomer Terry Moseley (Irish Astronomical Association) all participated in a discussion chaired by the Rector, the Reverend Andrew Rawding.

The audience in the packed church was treated to the passion and scientific insights of the space scientists, as well as responses from the Archbishops focusing on their own awe, their understanding of the universe and the relationship between science and faith. Questions from the audience included enquiries about: ‘dark energy’ and ‘dark matter’; ‘black holes’; the potential for infra–red telescopes to detect extra–terrestrial life; and the role of women in space science.

The main discussion ended with the Ballyclog Men’s Choir leading singing of the hymn ‘God, who stretched the spangled heavens, infinite in time and place’ . Afterwards there was an opportunity for people to handle a meteorite fragment (4,576 million years old) and view the night sky with telescopes provided by the Irish Astronomical Association. The event was organised by the Friends of Ballyclog.

  • Archbishop Richard Clarke, Dr Patrick Harkness, Professor Monica Grady CBE, Professor Michael Burton, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Terry Moseley, and the Reverend Andrew Rawding.