Written by Emily Huggard
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of St Nic’s.
Six years ago, around November time, I chose to make St Nic’s my church during my time at university. Around this time, everyone at St Nic’s was talking about the big church weekend away coming up in February, and I was being encouraged to book onto it. Within a few weeks I’d gone from having no church in Nottingham, to being asked to commit to a whole weekend away with my new church family. The idea was a little daunting.
Over the Christmas holidays, I knew I had a choice to make about whether I should commit to the weekend away. With some encouragement from my parents, I rallied the few other students I did know at St Nic’s and together we committed to going! It was the best decision! Within a few months, I went from knowing very few people at St Nic’s and feeling like an outsider, to finding my place in a whole new family!
If you’re in the same position as I was six years ago, or if you’re wondering whether to book yourself on, here’s my top five reasons for why you should come…
NUMBER ONE: GET TO KNOW PEOPLE QUICKER
During a church weekend away, we spend about 48 hours together. That’s the equivalent of 24 Sunday services – about six months of attending church (assuming you go every Sunday)! Sure, we might be asleep for some of that time, but even so, we build relationships on a whole new level when we spend a whole weekend together. And, not only is there a chance to get to know people of the same stage of life, there is the opportunity (especially at meal times) to get to know people of all generations – cuddle a baby, play games with the kids, gain wisdom from those a few years on from you and hear what the church used to be like from people who have been here for decades! Book yourself on because you will get to know people so much quicker than if you don’t.
NUMBER TWO: IT’S A CHANCE FOR WORSHIP AND TEACHING
They’ll be plenty of time to worship together as a whole church (all three congregations!) and to hear teaching from outside speakers. Book yourself on because this weekend is a chance to press into listening to God.
NUMBER THREE: THE FOOD IS INCREDIBLE
You will never go hungry at Swanwick! If you think you might get hungry at some point, fear not because another meal or cake break is always around the corner! This is a weekend off cooking (wahoo!) and a weekend off halls food (even better!). Book yourself on because you’ll want to taste the food that everyone comes back talking about!
NUMBER FOUR: WE GET SOME FRESH COUNTRY AIR
After January exams and five weeks of uni, you will be well ready to get out into the country for some fresh air! The Saturday afternoon is the slot for going on a muddy walk and there is also a chance for games and other kinds of socialising! Book yourself on because this weekend’s a chance to rest together away from the city.
NUMBER FIVE: IT’S A REAL BARGAIN
Finally, this weekend is a REAL bargain. For you students, it is just £55 – less than half of the price for a full paying adult! Our student tickets are heavily subsidised by the church because we really want you there! So take advantage! If you can’t afford £55 right now, register and pay later or email the office to pay in instalments. Book yourself on because it will be the best investment you make during your time at university.
Six years ago, I joined St Nic’s and soon after found myself on the church weekend away. Six years later, I’m convinced that, that decision (in a string of many) led to me setting up home in Nottingham after university and still being here at St Nic’s now. So commit yourself to coming – get the date in your diary and get your place booked! We can’t wait to spend the weekend with you!