For many of us, carol services characterise our Decembers. We attend countless services with varying degrees of creativity: carols by candlelight, alternative carols, even services with live donkeys in tow.
But for increasing numbers of students, they wouldn’t expect to step foot in a church, even at Christmas. They may not have sung O Come All Ye Faithful since primary school; or – as is the case for many international students – don't know what a carol is.
It’s within this landscape that CUs across Great Britain hosted carol services this December. A lost cultural knowledge of carol lyrics or the nativity story was no barrier: indeed, it provided a unique opening for the gospel on university campuses.
A personal invite
One first year student at Lincoln CU went so far as to invite her whole flat to their carol service. Martha’s* flat mates joined the 60 other students at the service. Together they sang carols, heard Scripture read and listened to a talk on how 'Jesus cares this Christmas'. Praise God for the many students who, like Martha, eagerly invited friends to join the CU celebrating Jesus’ first coming and inviting them to consider His claim to come to save the lost.
‘My first Christmas gift!’
Heriot Watt CU displayed immense hospitality by hosting 50 at their annual Christmas dinner. All enjoyed the generous spread including all the trimmings. One Malaysian student, Ben* shared that he’d come to the event to experience a traditional Christmas dinner in the UK. Responding to the talk from a local church worker about how Jesus is the perfect gift, Ben explained that he’d never had a Christmas present before, having never celebrated Christmas in Malaysia. Receiving a copy of Mark’s Gospel at the event of the event, Ben picked it up excitedly, exclaiming, ‘my first Christmas gift!’ Pray that Ben will read this account of Jesus’ life over Christmas; that his first Christmas present would lead him to a personal relationship with the best gift he could ever know!
A display of CU unity
On Friday 9 December, Glasgow Cathedral opened its doors to 200 students as Strathclyde, Caledonian, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Glasgow School of Art CUs came together to host a carol service. Of the attendees, at least half were guests of CU members. All were warmly welcomed and individually addressed by the engaging talk. Each CU contributed to the event, with Glasgow School of Art CU members designing and making decorations for the service.
Invitations extended far and wide
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama CU put on a show with their carol service. Better still, the small CU of ten students hosted over 90 at their carol service. God abundantly answered their prayers for many to come! The congregation – mostly unbelieving guests – heard CU Staff Worker Shannon Ludlow preach on John 1, as she spoke of Jesus: the light in the darkness.
Can we set cookies? We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. More about cookies.
By clicking the Accept button below you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.