Over the last twelve months I have been covering for Hilary as National Coordinator of the Student Christian Movement and in fact I never really anticipated that I would be doing this. Someone once told me that you should never apply for a job that you think you will get in an attempt to stretch yourself. This was the case when I arrived for my interview last March, bow tie and man bun on point, I was welcomed into what was the most enjoyable interview I’ve ever been part of and this set the tone for the year to come.
It’s fair to say that this year has been full of surprises and stretched my abilities in being able to drive the movement in what has been a major time of transition and progress. Staff have come and gone, strategies have been revamped and events have happened all over the country. But through all of this what has remained a constant has been the aims that SCM are working towards. Creating Community, Celebrating Diversity, Seeking Justice and Deepening Faith and these are so intrinsically caught up in the identity of everyone involved in the movement it has meant that I have benefited dramatically from the relationships I have encountered.
Reflecting on my time with SCM I am reminded of a quote I learnt during previous management training that shares an attribute of leadership necessary in management positions. It states you need ‘Personal humility coupled with a fierce resolve to do anything for the organisation to grow’. Management is always about dancing a fine line where on one hand you take control in a manner that gets tasks done but doesn’t bring people with you and the other is that you become too friendly with those around you the task at hand becomes unfocussed and lost in fear of upsetting someone. I have learnt how to put my own fears and insecurities about my character and competence aside in order to facilitate the work of those around me. It has taken time, effort and definitely tested my resolve however seeing the growth and development of our staff team has given me a great sense of joy, their care and diligence in all aspects of their work is commendable and we are extremely fortunate to have such a strong team.
Martin Camroux recently wrote an article for Reform Magazine and stated that, ‘Many young people are on a spiritual quest, and there has been a quiet revival of the Student Christian Movement.’ Throughout SCM’s history we have always had a subtle hand on the formation of Higher Education, be it helping to found NUS or the World Council of Churches and this has not changed! SCM continues to create subtle waves within the sphere of Higher Education, raising student’s critical consciousness, engaging many in life changing social action projects and ultimately sharing in the process of ‘Shalom´ in the world, where by God is continuing to bring chaos in to order across the entire cosmos that was realised through birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
I thank you all for the opportunity to serve the movement over the past 12 months, it has challenged my skills and stretched my mind but most importantly, through SCM, I have been part of an incredible community of students that inspire me on their journey for justice, challenge my perceptions of diversity pushing me in how to engage with championing those that are different from me and ultimately deepened my faith and for that I am extremely thankful.