Not sure if you want to take the plunge into the dizzying world of the University’s 200+ societies? Don’t know your Blowsoc from your Bladesoc? The Socumentaries team endeavours to sample as many societies as possible so you don’t have to.
Soc-umentary – A factual article about a society, presenting the facts with little or no fiction. As in, ‘Did you see that socumentary about fashion? That shit cray.’
Going to the Christian Union is quite possibly the highlight of my week. As a not-so-good Christian trying to be a better one, it is so encouraging to surround myself with other like-minded people for a couple of hours on a Friday, hearing about God and building each other up in our faiths.
I am well aware that to many people this sounds like some kind of exclusive club, a place for the ‘God Squad’ who think they’re too holy to mix with other students belonging to other religions, or none at all. But this isn’t the case. CU is the most welcoming society I have been to.
“Its atmosphere is a relaxed and safe one in which to dwell on a Friday night, either as an alternative to going out or as an opportunity to sit down before being on your feet dancing ’til 3am”
Upon arriving, dedicated members hand out sweets to people on the door with smiles on their faces; it is clear to see that they genuinely love to see people, old members and new, come along.
Decked out with fairy lights and row upon row of seats, Room C11 in the Portland building looks inviting to anyone. Its atmosphere is a relaxed and safe one in which to dwell on a Friday night, either as an alternative to going out or as an opportunity to sit down before being on your feet dancing ’til 3am.
The overwhelming vibe given off by the members of the Christian Union at Nottingham is one of friendliness. Every face is so genuinely glad to see you, no matter who you are. There is always someone to talk to. And, I think, upon asking several members, that is their aim.
What so often comes across as an exclusive society is in fact the very opposite. CU members themselves would tell you that the very reason they exist is for other people, their vision being to expand and see more and more people across campus come to know something of Jesus and the love that is central to His message.
CU members “based at Ocean … hand out water bottles and biscuits to those who’ve had a few too many”
Perhaps the pinnacle of this selflessness is shown through Club Outreach, a programme run by CU every Friday in which several totally sober members, based at Ocean nightclub – everyone’s favourite cheesy night out in the city centre – hand out water bottles and biscuits to those who’ve had a few too many and attempt to share the kindness that is so much a part of Christianity with the people around them.
The dedication shown by them staggers me. To stand out on the streets in the freezing cold until three in the morning, for no other reason than to simply ‘be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world’ (Matt 5:14-16 MSG) is as fascinating as it is crazy. One day I hope to be so selfless as to give it a go, not least because it would be an interesting perspective to see things from the other side on a night out!
CU is a place of warmth in what can sometimes be a dark world at university. Regardless of what you believe, I would recommend going along to one of their Friday evening meetings. These gatherings are known as ‘Equip’, a fitting name for something so encouraging for Christians and non-Christians alike.
The sound of worship, sometimes sung along to an acoustic guitar, floods the room in the Portland building each week and I’d be lying if I said I’d ever heard anything so beautiful. Attending such a meeting is not the most obvious choice of activity on a Friday night for many, I’m aware, but it’s one I’ve not regretted making yet.
To find out more, visit www.nucu.org
Featured Image ‘Worship Cafe’ by Sentinelle del mattino International on Flickr (licence)