Director’s Report

Welcome! I am delighted to commend to you this Annual Review for the academic year 2016–17. As you will see, this year has been busy, remarkable and fruitful.

Over the past 12 months, more than 86,000 students have attended either a CU carol service or CU mission event.

Each of those students has a story.

As you scroll through this review you’ll hear more about some of them, and how they came to faith in Jesus.

Secular society can often be hostile to the Christian faith, yet many of the current generation of students is so receptive to the kindness and friendship offered by a CU. This background hostility is proving to be (for those Christians who put their head above the parapet) a remarkable context for the CU to live and speak for Jesus on campus attractively and effectively.

We are seeing a remarkable context for the CU to live and speak for Jesus on campus attractively and effectively.

It does seem that our Christian teenagers at school are in a tougher situation still. Often Christianity is variously ignored and attacked in both science and humanities lessons and the secular establishment now regards biblical sexual ethics to be regressive and dangerous. How does a Christian teenager persevere in this corrosive and toxic atmosphere, in which they are implicated in crimes of homophobia, transphobia and general intolerance simply for believing the Bible? How can we help them before they get to university to remain confident in their Christian faith?

Often these students survive by living alternately in two watertight compartments. They have a Christian compartment for home and church, but at school, and with their friends, they inhabit the same secular space as everyone else: a world in which science removes the need for God and approval of gay marriage is the shibboleth they must utter to be accepted as citizens of a new, more civilised and tolerant society. Can our Christian youth truly flourish as authentic and whole people when they are forced to tear themselves in two merely to survive?

UCCF is keen to play its part in helping the wider church respond to this challenge by forming a robust Christian world view in our youth before they get to university. Read on to hear more about our youth project within Bethinking to provide resources and approaches that will help our pre-university students to stay confident in their faith.

Thank you so much for your generous and prayerful support, without which this kind of development would not be possible.

It is truly an exciting privilege to be partnering with you in this vital ministry, which will ultimately see the gospel prevail. As Paul reminds his Roman readers, there is no need to be ‘ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation’ (Romans 1:16).

Richard Cunningham
UCCF Director