From the 26th to the 28th October a variety of students from the Student Christian Movement (SCM) gathered together in Leeds for an exciting weekend of worship, conferencing and amazing vegan food.
I wasn't involved with SCM at my previous university, and so for my first SCM weekend away I was nervous but also incredibly excited. The entire weekend was full of fantastic new experiences; from trying vegan chilli, to attending a service at a brand new church, to exploring how our faith can be used in political action, I was inspired and pushed to further my ideas and really look at my faith, and what it means to me.
It was also wonderful to meet students from other SCM groups across the weekend, from areas such as Lancashire, Oxford, and even a representative from SCM's umbrella organisation, WSCF Europe. Through various boardgames, early morning cups of tea and the ever exciting experience of crashing on a church floor together, I can safely say that we've made some excellent friendships and I'm already looking forward to seeing people at the next SCM event.
For me personally this weekend has helped me to develop and deepen my faith. Trying new styles of worship such as Taizé and Compline (Anglican Night Prayer) gave me plenty of time to silently reflect on what is happening in my life right now, and my gratefulness for those surrounding me during those moments. Listening to other students praying, singing and taking communion together was an almost holy experience, and was delightfully new to me as in my home church I'm one of the youngest there!
For those who haven't been on an SCM weekend yet and are unsure what to expect, I can guarantee a lot of laughter, friendship and awesome worship. It's a great way to meet new, like-minded people and to maybe explore somewhere that you've never been to before. There's a variety of new things to try, from churches, to food, to worship style, and if you're lucky maybe you'll get to experience crash-pad sleeping in a church too! My first SCM weekend has been a roaring success and I would highly recommend it to anybody.
Geoff Driver, a trustee of Project Bonhoeffer and SCM Friend has written about the event here: https://www.movement.org.uk/blog/faith-political-action-today