Got your grades? Starting out at Southampton this autumn? We've got three words to say to you: Pizza and Puddings!
If you want to meet dozens of other Christian students in Southampton on your very first day here, this is the place to come. The autumn term Pizza & Puddings evening is at 7.30pm on Sunday 24 September at Burgess Road Library and you're invited!
You'll find 50-100 fellow students there, a mix of freshers and those in 2nd/3rd years. Find a quiet table in the corner or a more raucous spot - whatever you like. Pile in the pizza and puddings - it's all on us. We'll even give you a lift back to halls afterwards if you're a bit far away.
It's a wonderful way to start making like-minded friends as soon as you arrive. No need to book - just turn up (and feel free to bring your friends)!
90 weeks. Give or take. That's your lot. It's how long a typical university student will spend here in Southampton, once you take holidays out of the picture. 90 weeks. And we at Christ Church are determined to make every one of them count for you.
Your uni years are a fantastic opportunity to grow as a Christian and we at Christ Church are serious about helping you to do just that. By the time you graduate, we want you to leave with your faith deepened, your mind stretched and your Christian character more firmly established. More than that, we want to leave you trained and equipped for a lifetime of serving Jesus, whatever that may look like for you.
You'll notice we put a high value on clear, contemporary and challenging Bible-teaching. And that we prioritise evangelism and training. These things are part of our DNA at Christ Church, and we work hard at them.
Students who call Christ Church home often value a number of things about us...
It's all too easy to remain within the confines of the student 'bubble' - even in a local church. Of course, it's tempting to keep surrounding yourself with people just like you. But then you'd miss out on the experience of being part of a real, mixed, supportive spiritual family.
So at Christ Church we encourage students to get along to at least one Sunday service - as well as the evening Connect programme. In the morning, we meet together as a church family every Sunday morning, at our Cantell venue next to Glen Eyre Halls and only 15-20 minutes walk from Wessex. Alternatively, you could join us at ‘The Six O’Clock’, an evening service at the Burgess Road Library, Burgess Road, SO16 3HF (right opposite the main Highfield campus of Southampton Uni).
Some of our students take the opportunity to help out from time to time with the music, the tech team, the morning crèche, the coffee-serving or the welcoming - there's always plenty to do - but it's quite alright just to be there.
At both services, there's good, contemporary music and heartfelt prayer. But the centrepiece is always the Bible talk. This is when we hear God's word unfolded for us. We aim to be faithful to what God is saying, clear and contemporary in the way we present it, and both encouraging and challenging in the way it's applied.
'Connect' is our small groups programme at Christ Church. We encourage every member of our church family to be involved in a small group, where they can study the Bible together, pray for, encourage and support one another.
'Student Connect' is just for students. It takes place at 7.30pm each Sunday during term time at the Burgess Road Library, Burgess Road, SO16 3HF. We kick off with a good meal together, then after a short talk on an area of Christian understanding, we get into 7-8 small groups (about a dozen people in each) for Bible study and prayer. We finish at around 9.30pm - though people tend to stay around chatting for quite a while afterwards, or else head off for a Scoops ice cream.
New to studying the Bible? Want to brush up on the basics of the Christian faith? Ask to join the Foundations group. Same time. Same place. Same food. Just a group that's a better fit for where you're at.
ONE TO ONE
Many of our students find it helpful to meet up with an older Christian on an informal but regular basis for prayer, Bible study and encouragement.
We're all for this at Christ Church and will do our best to partner you with someone we think you'll click with who's a bit further down the track in the Christian life.
One-to-ones happen in cafes, homes, on campus or wherever works for you. Usually you'll be reading a book of the Bible together, or perhaps a Christian book, but whatever you're looking at, there'll be plenty of opportunity to ask questions, explore issues and seek advice and direction.
HOME FROM HOME
It's funny when you move away from home. You don't always realise how much about home life you're going to miss - until you're gone!
As a church we're unlikely to be able to replicate what you've got back home. But a few weeks into every term, all our students are invited to go and hang out at with one of our families at church. They'll arrange to get you back to their place for lunch after a Sunday service, then spend relaxed time with them (and maybe their children, dogs, guinea pigs etc.!)
It's not quite home - obviously - but it's a chance to escape the student bubble and relax in an ordinary household. A tiny piece of home - from home.
Look out for dates in the autumn term. To sign up, email Naomi Tillin.
OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE
In a busy church like ours, you'll find heaps of ways to put your God-given gifts and talents to good use, if you're up for it.
Whether it's helping with the children, joining one of the bands, making cakes or working the tech desk, you're bound to find a way to contribute to the life of the church.