My name is Colin Hull and I live in a small village in Hertfordshire in the UK.
I am a Materials Analyst and a professed member of the Anglican Third Order of the Society of St Francis.
Since my teens I have been a keen lover of nature and especially bird watching. This led me into thinking a great deal about the natural world in which we live.
I do volunteer bird population monitoring for the British Trust for Ornithology and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. I also developed an interest in astronomy and cosmology.
Church Lay Minister
I joined a Church of England congregation in my late teens and eventually trained to become a Reader (lay minister), teaching and preaching and assisting in the leadership of worship. September 2016 was my 28th anniversary of my being licensed by the bishop. Besides this church based ministry I see it as part of my ministry to represent the faith of the church among my work mates. It leads me into conversations about faith and science and the continued relevance and validity of Christian faith.
Qualifications and Work
My interest in the natural world, interest in biology, ecology and also astrononmy led me first to studying for a BSc in Applied Biology. However most of my subsequent working life has been as a Chemical and Polymer Analyst. I have never sought a higher degree but have been deeply studying religion and science issues for all of my adult life. I recently completed 40 years service in my employment.
Society of St Francis
I have a number of friends past and present who became members of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis (TSSF) and in 2006 I was myself professed into the order. It has led me to explore the meaning of living in the ethos of Francis and taking an interest in the Franciscan intellectual tradition. I have a separate article about the TSSF on the maim menu
I hope you enjoy what I am sharing. You may not all agree with it. If you like it and it is helpful then Christ be praised. I can only set down where I am coming from and using what I have learned to help others to think these things through, to find meaning and commitment in following Christ in a changing world, so different to the past.
Finally, all study should I believe feed back into our devotional and prayer life and walk with God. It should affect the way we see people and see the world, and serve God in it. Quite a number of the sections end with something devotional; prayers or a meditative exercise. I hope these will also be of some value.
A prayer based on something by John Duns Scotus:
May God, who is First Principle of all things grant me to believe, to understand and to reveal to others what may please His majesty and may raise our minds to contemplate Him
O Lord our God, true teacher that you are, when Moses your servant asked you for your name that he might proclaim it to the children of Israel, you, knowing what the mind of mortals could grasp of you, replied: “I am who am,” thus disclosing your blessed name. You are truly what it means to be, you are the whole of what it means to exist. This, if it be possible for me, I should like to know by way of reasoning and inspiration.
Help me then, O Lord, as I investigate the things I find in the scriptures and your world that I can learn about that true being which you are, and in adoration serve you in all things.