Rich Wilson does freshers week 2009

I’d been thinking about this on and off for the last few days and all yesterday i had a sense of both nervousness and excitement.

when it came to the evening and a time when i’d normally be thinking about going to bed, i was instead wide awake and sensing the adrenalin in my body. I was praying with the club mission team at loughborough, wearing the club mission polo shirt and about to make my second appearance in fresher’s week, 17 years after my first.

As a church we are determined to welcome 4,000 new students to Loughborough really well and look out for the needs of those who may be struggling to adjust to being away from home. Club Mission is like street pastors and is a partnership between the church and the SU. Club mission activity is stepped up during freshers week as 1000s of Freshers are herded into the giant Student Union building. Most are wearing tribal hall t-shirts, being led in various chants and some undertaking challenges at the start of a 2 week initiation into university life.

The evening was more colourful, loud and outrageous than I remember my first fresher’s week. A carnival atmosphere was in full flow and encouraged by an appearance from Stavros Flatley. The Club mission team are there to look out the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of students and have a dedicated room in the building where students can hang out, be looked after, chat, be given water etc. My highlight was chatting to Matt, he'd just turned up and was really up for talking about anything and everything. He wasn't a church goer, but believed in God. He was impressed by club mission and loved the idea of loveyouruni.

I gave him a tour ticket and had a feeling i'd probably see him again a some point. For me the whole experience reminded me why I am a Christian, why i have given the last 11 years of my life to Fusion and to building local church. I was immensely proud of the students on the club mission team, their passion, maturity and selfless love surprised me in a really positive way.

Whilst there are aspects of Freshers week that are undoubtbly a minefield, it is comforting to know that Christian students, released and encouraged by their local church are making a difference. It is happening right across this nation, we are learning how to love our universities one precious student at a time.

I went home in the early hours, tired, thankful and feeling fully alive.


Rich Wilson

Fusion Movement Leader

Rich loves students and God’s church and has championed the important role of local churches in student mission for over 25 years. He wants to invite a generation to A Call Less Ordinary.

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