Everyone’s different. What is right for your friends might not be right for you. Be brave and take some time to find a Christian community that’s right for you, where you can be yourself and be supported in your faith journey.
Small is also beautiful
Take time to have a good look around. Most universities have a big evangelical Christian Union, usually affiliated to the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship. If this isn’t for you, don’t panic! There are other options, but they might be harder to find. Here are a few ideas:
Student groups and societies
As well as the Christian Union, some universities have denominational societies like a Methodist Society, Catholic Society, or Pentecostal Society. There might also be ecumenical societies (welcoming people from all Christian traditions), like SCM groups, Christian Focus groups and Chaplaincy communities.
As well as university based societies, you might find that local churches have student or young adult groups that you could join too.
Finding a local church
Finding the right church for you can be hard, but it’s also an opportunity to try out new things. In some cities, local churches organise a church tour early in the autumn term, so look out for that. Often the chaplaincy will have a list of local churches or an online directory. SCM Connect is also a good place to find out about student groups and friendly local churches.
If you’re particularly looking for a church that’s welcoming to LGBT people then also have a look at the Inclusive Church directory.
Most universities have chaplains, and some have a chaplaincy centre or chapel. Chaplains are there to offer a listening ear to all students and staff. Many also support student societies and run regular activities, discussions, trips and social events. Have a look for a chaplaincy page on your university website to find out more and drop them an email, or call in for a cup of tea and a chat.
Before you start university, connect with other Christian students from across the UK via the SCM Facebook group. You can ask questions, make new friends and see if there’s anyone else at your university
‘I’d recommend looking at churches before you get to uni and printing out a map – you’ll be more likely to go to somewhere if you feel prepared.’ Sonya
‘Don’t be afraid to try out a few different groups or churches if you feel you don’t fit in somewhere – there will be one around that suits you!’ Hannah
Hilary is a Quaker, with strong ecumenical tendencies. She enjoys walking, camping, cycling, holidays, reading, painting, catching up with friends and playing her flute.