As a teenager, whenever someone uttered those dreaded words, “I challenge you to…”, I could never resist attempting straightaway whatever it was that ended the sentence. As a result I wouldn’t normally recommend jumping into something so quickly, but as part of SCM’s 130 challenge I’m positively encouraging it!
You will have seen by now that 2019 marks SCM’s 130th anniversary, and that to celebrate the occasion we are asking 130 people, Churches, or Organisations to take on a challenge to raise £130 for SCM, contributing almost £17,000 towards SCM’s work.
Why do we need you all to join in with the 130 Challenge?
I feel privileged to be part of an organisation with such a clear mission – to ensure that every student can be part of a vibrant, open and inclusive Christian community where they can explore their faith. I believe that our work to make this happen is vital, and that our long history of celebrating diversity and ensuring all are included has shaped our world for the better.
In our heyday the movement was made up of tens of thousands of members from all over the country, but in the mid-20th century we saw a steep decline in membership. This was for a few reasons, such as the formation and growth of Higher Education Chaplaincy and an overemphasis on the political topics of the day. But now times are changing again, and SCM is growing. Over the past three years we’ve established three regional hubs, the number of students joining the movement has increased and we’ve supported more chaplaincies and churches year on year.
So that we can maintain the level of growth we’ve seen over the last few years and continue to have real impact on the lives of students, we need your help. It costs 61p a minute to run SCM, and our core costs (which includes the day to day running and management of SCM) are substantially underfunded year on year. We don’t have an infinite pot of money, and the reserves we do have will only last another two years if we continue as we are. We rely on donations from our supporters, SCM Friends, to fund the core costs of supporting the movement and we are so grateful for their support and encouragement. As the movement grows we need new SCM Friends and donors, and new sources of income. Hence the 130 challenge!
If every member of the movement took part in the 130 challenge £17,000 would be raised for SCM’s work. This would cover the cost of publishing and distributing Movement magazine with enough left over to subsidise SCM events for students. £17,000 would cover the cost of rent and utilities for our office in Birmingham and our regional hubs, as well as enabling us to reach out to more students through festivals and youth events.
So please sign up for the challenge, be part of something great and enable the work of SCM to continue to reach students all across the country. Thank you.