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Faith and Fairy-lights: Inside the ‘Human’ Marquee

3rd Year Geography student, Abigail Knight, reflects on the Christian Union’s successful “what does it mean to be human?” event. 

At the end of January, a large white tent appeared in the Palmer Quad – you may have spotted it! The Christian Union hosted their annual week of events, this year based around the question, “what does it mean to be human?”

 Each day the café in the tent was open, serving free hot drinks which were particularly welcome on the Friday of the week when it was very cold and snowy! The atmosphere in the tent was warm and welcoming, with sofas and blankets in the ‘chill zone,’ and tables and chairs where people could sit to study or chat. Throughout the week, there were burrito bars at lunch time and a variety of evening events including a cheese and wine night, and a dessert night. Each event included a short talk, exploring the Christian perspective on what it means to be human; issues including sexism and suffering were considered, and big questions such as ‘what am I really worth?’ and ‘where can I be accepted?’ were discussed.  

Naomi Veira, a second-year student shared her thoughts on the week: “I loved having a really cosy place on campus to study and hang out. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and it was so interesting to hear speakers talking on such a range of topics. One of my favourites was talking about the historical evidence for Jesus, that was really cool! And it was so great to hear discussions on really relevant topics, such as Jesus and Feminism! 

Most of the talks were shared between two guest speakers, Ollie Lansdowne and Ali Reid, both of whom work with students in Oxford. With over 100 people at each event, many students engaged with the Q&A sessions, and were encouraged to think about where they find meaning in their lives. Those who came also heard from members of the Christian Union throughout the week who shared how being a Christian affects their perspective on life. It was fascinating to hear such a wide variety of stories from people with very different backgrounds, yet who have all found complete satisfaction and acceptance in Jesus Christ. It was an incredible week and, although the tent has gone, it’s not over! The Christian Union has many things going on throughout the year; weekly meetings include CU Central on Thursdays (19:00, EM G27) and Small World Café, for international students, on Fridays (19:00, EM G44); everything is free, and anyone and everyone is welcome. There will be more one-off events around Easter, so do keep your eyes peeled for those! For more information, search for Reading CU on Facebook, or look find them on the RUSU website (https://www.rusu.co.uk/societies/rucu/). 


About Taz Usher

Print Editor of The Spark Newspaper.

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