Christian Union Event Wins National Society Award
It was such a privilege to attend the National Society Awards on the 19th May 2017; hosted by the National Union for Students and Red Oak Roller. The evening celebrated university societies around the United Kingdom and what they contribute to their members, their campuses and to the wider community. The whole event had such an uplifting atmosphere, with everyone dressed in formal attire, with great hosts and delicious food. It was a pleasure to be part of the event.
Four Christian Unions from different universities were shortlisted out of thousands of applicants for two awards. Royal Holloway, Aberystwyth and Loughborough Christian Unions (featured in the picture below) were shortlisted for the ‘Best Cultural and Faith Society’ and Durham Christian Union were shortlisted for ‘Best Society Event.’ These nominations are a testament to the good relationships that CUs have with their Student Unions, particularly in recent years. In the majority of these cases, it was the Student Union who suggested that the CUs apply for this award! It’s great to see Student Unions actively recognizing and celebrating the work that Christian Unions do on different campuses around Great Britain.
The event itself even opened up opportunities to speak of the work of Christian Unions: we were able to sit around the table with representatives from other universities and societies and explain what a Christian Union is, and its mission.
We were delighted that Durham Christian Union were not only shortlisted for an award, but went on to win the award for ‘Best Society Event’ for their events week, STORY. All of the representatives from other Christian Unions were there loudly applauding as Durham won! Again, this reinforced the familial relationship that we have as CUs united together in one fellowship through UCCF; it was great to encourage one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Since there was no one present from Durham Christian Union to receive the award, a member from their Student Union accepted the award. She conducted a short speech after receiving the award and commented: ‘I am very proud of Durham Christian Union and all their hard work. They won a Durham University Society award last year for their amazing events week, so we urged them to apply for this award too. They definitely deserve this award. I will proudly take it back to them.’ I had the opportunity to talk to the Student Union representative afterwards, and she was delighted to hear that I worked alongside UCCF. What a blessing to know that Student Union representatives from around the country are praising UCCF’s work and are grateful for the work that Christian Unions do.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening, and I look forward to many other Christian Unions receiving awards in years to come. I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and so did the students:the former president at Royal Holloway Christian Union, Lizzy Fretwell, commented: ‘It was a really lovely to go to a national event, representing both the Christian Union and our University. It was brilliant to hear what other societies at universities across the country are getting up to and to be involved in an event that commended all those students’ hard work.’
Esther Woodall is a Relay Worker with Royal Holloway CU in London. Christian Unions across Great Britian are getting involved in their Student Unions and receieving recognition for the contribution that they make to uni life. Read more about CUs receiving SU awards.