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STUDENTS HEAR THE RUMOUR

Over 100 students responded to the gospel at a UCCF city-wide student mission entitled ‘Rumour Has It’.

The Prohibition Era-themed week of events, which took place in late January, saw around 20 CUs from across London team up with 15 churches to put on a week of evangelistic events.

Students dressed up in 1920s jazz/Great Gatsby-style costumes and served (non-alcoholic) drinks. The Bill Edgar Trio provided music and entertainment for a jazz café. Bill is not only a great pianist but also Professor of Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. The gospel was preached by UCCF director, Richard Cunningham. Around 300 students came to All Souls Church, the central London venue, each evening, with many more attending local campus-based lunchtime dialogues.

Energetic atmosphere

London UCCF team leader, Natasha Kasprowicz, said: ‘There was a huge crowd on the opening night, many of whom were non-CU members. The team worked hard to make the venue a creative space and there was a wonderfully engaged and energetic atmosphere throughout the night. There was a standing ovation for the Bill Edgar Trio, who were fantastic – really powerful and moving. Richard invited students to fill in a feedback form which includes the opportunity to indicate “Count Me In” or “Tell Me More”. We had received about 75 response slips after the first two evenings, and a further 28 responded on the final night’.

Natasha continued: ‘There was an electric atmosphere in the room as Richard spoke about the cross and as he and Bill Edgar engaged with students’ questions in the Q & A session. We were overwhelmed by the number of questions we received and it is clear that a number of students are thinking very seriously about what they’ve heard’.

Opening minds

Freddie, a CU member from Ravensbourne, has been reading the Uncover Seeker Bible Study material with a friend. Freddie invited him (with seven others) to the ‘Rumour Has It’ events. On the final night, the friend responded by indicating ‘Count Me In’ on the feedback form.

St Mary’s CU had their largest-ever lunchtime event, with 15 people coming along (the CU is tiny). A CU member’s room-mate said: ‘I would call myself an agnostic/atheist, but today has definitely opened my mind to [another] possibility!’.

Keen atheist

Of the opening night, Richard Cunningham commented: ‘Tonight was remarkable – huge crowds of unbelievers, energy, creativity, a standing ovation for the Bill Edgar Trio and great listening to the gospel.’ One attendee exclaimed: ‘I’m crying my eyes out! She [Ruth Naomi Floyd] sings so powerfully’. Ashley George, a UCCF Christian Union staff worker, said: ‘I sat next to the president of the Atheist Humanist Society at a lunch bar today. He is keen to read Uncover, so it looks like he’ll be reading with the CU president’.

Natasha concluded: ‘More than 100 students have indicated over the course of the week that they want to know Jesus, or want to find out more. This number does not include any who have indicated that they want to find out more during the local daytime events. One of the girls who spoke with Richard has been a churchgoer, CU member and part of a Bible study group. She became a Christian yesterday’.

Hugh Palmer is rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London and chair of Word Alive
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