Faith at Work XVIII

January 2006

Last month I was invited to attend a workshop at the Science Park as an interested observer. The company concerned seeks to enable engineers make better use of the Computer Aided Engineering systems that they run for design purposes. So that they can maintain a good working knowledge of the systems and train their clients effectively, the company also offers consultancy for specific applications. Their training courses are generally written in-house with their own examples and tutorials, but on this occasion they had invited an external specialist from another company.

The course that I attended was all about how to export geometry that had been created in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) system so that it could form the basis of an analysis model. The aim of this is to simulate within the computer how the product would behave physically under typical operating conditions and either affirm that the design is fit for purpose or in need of some adjustments to make it so. The various elements of this process are gradually being made more compatible and, being familiar with this from years ago, I was interested to know how much the techniques had improved. I was also keen to meet again with Bob, the presenter, whom I have known for many years.

It also occurred to me that what I find myself doing now as a chaplain in the workplace is very similar to what Bob was presenting. Whereas the analysis adds some value to product design, my presence in the workplace may enable others to appreciate that the Church (or at least a spiritual approach to life) can add meaning to the World. And, just as an analysis cannot prove absolutely that a component will work as intended in reality, neither can faith always guide our response to what confronts us. But, they can both provide us with confidence about future behaviour.

The same is true about the coming of Jesus into the world. He adds meaning by inviting us to think of the possibility that the divine can become human and be at one with us. He also came to show us the way to the divine, which is why we celebrate the coming of the wise men at the Epiphany. We can be like them, seeking from afar and following those insights that make sense to us.

As with gladness men of old
did the guiding star behold,
as with joy they hailed its light,
leading onwards, beaming bright;
so, most gracious Lord, may we
evermore be led to thee.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2005-11-25

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