Student Linkup is an app we created to help students connect with church during their time at university. Starting university can be overwhelming and finding a church can quickly become another item on a never ending list of things to do. Whether you’ve grown up going to church or you’re just interested in trying something new, the app is there to help you connect with churches in a really simple and easy way. You can even message the student workers of each church and ask any questions you have before visiting.
A new academic year has just started and we’re already hearing amazing stories about how Student Linkup has helped students connect with churches. This is Myagh’s story of how God has been moving in her life:
I grew up in a totally atheist family and household. My school wasn't religious, but my primary school made us sing hymns and watch Bible stories acted out every Tuesday in an assembly, I would say this was my only religious influence growing up, but whenever I sat in a church with Brownie Guides making Christingles or for any reason, I would just feel so peaceful. This always stuck with me as I grew older, and I always had a longing to go to a church just to sit and think. I received my first Bible in year 7 when joining my secondary school, which was quite rough and underprivileged, but I always kept my Bible, and I didn't know why. I took GCSE Religious studies and told my family I kept the Bible for revision, this wasn't the truth, but I didn't know the truth at the time. This continued through to my A levels, studying Christianity along with Biology I suppose was the gateway to realising that I did believe there was a God, looking at the complexity of creation, there just simply wasn't any other explanation. Growing up in a secular home however, I was put off from admitting to myself that I believed.
So, I decided to go to my college's CU, but I told myself and everyone else that I was going to support my friend who I went with, my RS teacher could see straight through me though and somehow, she knew I was interested in learning more. She offered us all a Bible because 'college had too many' but I knew that when she made eye contact with me, she knew I needed it. She was so delighted when I stayed back after the CU meeting and asked for one. That was a big step for me, but it felt like I had opened a door for myself.
I started to learn more about Jesus and who He was, and what He did for us. I knew that moving to university was going to be a fresh start for me, and I had this calling to go to church ever since I was young, I could finally give in to that calling.
Finding a church was so hard, there were so many! They all believed in slightly different things, it was so overwhelming. Someone from CU recommended Linkup to me, for finding a church near me that matches my beliefs. I signed up, and started getting messages from the churches right away, inviting me to join them. It was so easy to ask them all the questions I had about going to church, about what they believed and if it matched what I believed. So many churches reached out, so I planned to go church hopping for the first few weeks of university life. On my first Sunday in Bristol, I attended my first ever church service at St Nicholas’ Church. They had been the first to message me on Linkup, and the most friendly, I knew I didn’t need to church hop like I had planned. They were so welcoming, everyone was so kind and was so interested in my strange story of how I encountered faith, I wanted to stay there. My first service was so emotional for me, but surprisingly, it didn't feel new and alien at all, it felt like I had always been meant to be there. I truly believe if it wasn't for Linkup, I wouldn't have met the amazing people at St Nick's and I wouldn't have started my journey of following Jesus. I have since signed up for the Alpha course, and volunteering through St Nick's, and I have attended three services so far.