Fresh research into spiritual hunger of population

The Churches Together in England (CTE) Group of Evangelisationin partnership with Bible Society are to fund a two-year researchpost to investigate why the church is seen as irrelevant by aspiritually hungry population. Recent research shows that althoughthere has been a decline in regular church attendees, over 60% ofthe population believe in God, and pray regularly.

Trish McLean has been chosen for the post and speaking of herappointment said: "I bring personal enthusiasm for the mission inthe west, inspired by my experiences of working with YouthWith a Mission and cultivated during my theologicaltraining at London Bible College and Edinburgh University."

The research will cover two main areas: firstly, a mappingexercise to find out organisations and individuals who are engagedwith contemporary spirituality. This will be assisted by theresources of the Living Spirituality Network (Churches Together inBritain and Ireland) and the CTE co-ordinating Group onSpirituality. Secondly, a project to explore and evaluate churchevangelistic engagement with contemporary spirituality, to identifybest models of practice, to offer practical recommendations to thechurches and to provide a theological analysis of the relationshipbetween the Gospel and contemporary spirituality.

Trish brings a unique background to the work. Born and broughtup by missionary parents in Thailand, she is just completing a PhDat Edinburgh University on the different approaches foreignmissionaries and Thai Christians have taken towards Thai Buddhistculture.

Trish spent her primary education at an international andinterdenominational school in Malaysia and her secondary educationat a Church of England School in the UK. Since then she has hadexperience of Church of Scotland worship as well as of her ownBaptist tradition.

Trish will be based in Lossiemouth and explains: "I haveexcellent access to Aberdeen University and I am in close proximityto the Findhorn Foundation, one of the European Centre forContemporary Spirituality outside the church".

Send feedback or suggestions to TrishMcLean

Further information from the Bible Society on 01793418100