Rev Dr Paul Beetham
Rev Dr Paul Beetham is currently Superintendent Minister of the Birmingham (West) & Oldbury Methodist Circuit. He studied Botany and Zoology at London University (Royal Holloway College) graduating in 1975. During this time he regularly joined Dr. Margaret Bradshaw of Durham University Botany Department in surveying the arctic alpine plants of Upper Teesdale. He was then awarded a CEGB research studentship at the then University College of Wales, Aberystwyth completing a Ph.D on the effects of sulphur dioxide in vivo on epiphytic lichens in 1980. Following a paper given at the 3rd International Congress of Plant Pathology in 1978 Paul was invited to continue research on air pollution at the Landesanstalt fur Okologie, Landsentschaftwicklung und Forstplanung, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf. This involved completing surveys of the air pollution in Dusseldorf and Cologne as well as work on the bio-diversity of the Eiffel. On returning to the United Kingdom Paul undertook consultancy work in pioneering legal action on air pollution and taught Biology at Luton VIth Form College and St. Dominics College, Harrow becoming Head of Department in 1984.
Whilst a research student at Aberystwyth Paul began to train as a Methodist Local Preacher, preaching the Methodist Chapels in Aberystwyth and Lampeter and during the years in Dusseldorf acted as a Lay Reader (Ecumenical) at Christ Church.
In 1988 Paul was accepted for the Methodist Ministry and became one of the five students who began the Wesley Study Centre with St. John’s College, Durham. He graduated in Systematic Theology in 1990 and worked with Methodist Churches in the Thornley area as well as taking a certificate in Counselling Skills.
Since leaving Durham Paul has served in the Wisbech, Ipswich, Widnes and Birmingham (West) & Oldbury Circuits. He was for eight years Chaplain to the Dockers at the Port of Felixstowe and a member of the Methodist Faith and Order Committee for four years.
He has been editor of the Christ & The Cosmos publications, a trustee of the Science & Religion Forum and published papers in both science and theology.
As a result of the fellowship in 2016 he published a paper entitled "Science, Theology And Politics in the Eighteenth And Twenty-first Centuries". This has been published in Reviews in Science & Religion No 70, November 2017, pages 11-25.