Getting ready for Freshers Week 2014

Churches across the UK are starting to prepare for Freshers Week 2014!

We thought it might be helpful to have a handy checklist as you get prepared for this exciting season.  These are the very basics and a few extra ideas - look out next week for 2 fundamental questions as you prepare for Freshers week

The Basics

  • Is your website up to date with accurate contact details?  Is it clear that students are welcome / what’s on offer for them?
  • Use Student Linkup well - does your point person have access and are you contacting those who have already signed up to come to a uni near you?
  • Enquire about a freshers week stall - charity rates are often available, sometimes its even free.  Ask yourself - what’s the best way to use your stall?  If its a church stall you’ll likely just get Christians, could you do an alpha course stall or a stall for your football team?
  • Get on the Chaplaincy/CU/Agape/Navs etc. websites and lists - make sure Christian freshers who find these guys can find you - they're often keen to help students find local churches.  Don't rely on this alone to meet freshers but don't neglect to help these guys connect students with church
  • Communicate on Sundays how welcome students are and have a clear point person to connect them with.  Students sometimes don’t come to church until Oct/Nov and will be trying different ones so you need to keep consistent and welcoming throughout the first term and into the start of the second
  • Get praying for those who are coming to your uni/s this autumn


Making the most of freshers week

So, the basics are in hand, but what could you be doing to make the most of this opportunity?  Here are just a couple of ideas...

  • Hang out on campus, be available - this doesn’t just have to be the student worker, current students are great people to meet up with freshers
  • Help students move in on day 1 (if you can), or hand out welcome packs as people are moving in
  • Invite Student Linkup people for a meal…and then offer for them to invite their housemates too part-way through freshers week
  • Contact the Student Union and see how you can help during freshers week/term
  • Hand out water outside popular clubs and bars (where are the Student Union bar crawls in your town?) - this is a great way to connect with both Christians and those who aren’t Christians
  • Be active in international students week - many international students arrive a week earlier than British students and whilst there are some activities there’s less going on - how could you serve those who are arriving early into a whole new culture?
  • Get current students back early so that they can catch up with each other and be ready to get involved and welcome new people from week 1
  • Prayer walk on campus / near halls
  • Encourage your students to be Mums and Dads / STYCS / big brothers and sisters to the freshers, most Student Unions have a scheme where older students ‘look after’ freshers flats in freshers week

These are just a few things to get you going.  Get your students together and ask them 'What would have helped you to feel welcome / connect with a church / make the most of your freshers term?'  Get ideas sharing and get committed to making the most of this gift we're given as student workers - the crazy, full on, full-of-opportunities freshers experience. 

Pippa Elmes

Ministry Training Leader

Pippa supports those in church based student ministry to do their job really well. She loves challenging churches to work with students and equipping them to pioneer new mission opportunities to reach students.                     

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