University's Christian Union celebrates growth

Sami Taylor, left and Steph Bayford, right at Harper Adams University, Shropshire

Harper Adams University's Christian Union has just had one of its most successful years to date, having celebrated a doubling in membership.

Sami Taylor, a veterinary nursing student who is currently serving as President of the CU, attributes the rapid growth to the invitational nature of their meetings.

"The CU is open to all denominations, and aims to bring together Christians in a relaxed environment for worship, fellowship and to explore issues our society faces," she explains.

"Everyone is welcome, whether they have been a Christian their whole life, want to grow in their faith or are simply curious about Christianity.

"It's not about labels, it's about friendship and fellowship."

The CU is one of the oldest student clubs on campus at Harper Adams, and had just 12 regular attendees during the last university year. This year, however, the group has grown to 21 official members and several more people who "dip in and out" of their meetings, according to Sami, whose father Paul Taylor, is a chaplain with Whiston and St Helen's NHS Hospital Trust.

"Because our primary focus is mission, we're an inclusive group and make it easy for people to find us and join us, discreetly if they wish," she notes.

Not only does the CU hold open weekly meetings which range from more formal, sermon based sessions to interactive discussions, Social Secretary Steph Bayford is in charge of arranging social activities such as pub visits, ice skating or bowling. The group also attends local and regional Christian events together.

"We also run a private group, where we can support each other, which is an extension of our 'family away from home' approach," Sami explains.

The CU is part of umbrella organisation UCCF, which works to support Christian Unions in reaching students with the gospel. UCCF works under the mission of 'Making disciples of Jesus Christ in the student world' and hopes to give every student in the UK the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Christ.

Sami, Steph and the two other committee members will step down from leadership around Easter time, when a new committee will be selected.

Go to www.facebook.com/HarperAdamsChristianUnion for more info on what they are getting up to.

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