Having started at the University of Lincoln in September, I was nervous about what people would think of me due to my religious beliefs as a Christian.
The media tends to portray university life as a place to go get drunk and party all the time, but for me that wasn’t something I wanted to participate in due to both personal and religious views. I feared judgement from others and expected to be excluded or mocked because of my faith – I am happy to say that my expectations were entirely wrong. The University of Lincoln has been one of the most accepting places I have ever been, allowing me to be totally open about my beliefs. I feel comfortable talking about my faith everywhere I go; in lectures, workshops, seminars and at societies.
When I had settled in after the first few weeks, I decided to join the Christian Union which is part of the Students’ Union. It was so encouraging to meet a group of like-minded people where we could meet together as a collective to enjoy our faith together. What I love about the University of Lincoln is that this isn’t exclusive for Christians; there are the Catholic, Jewish and Islamic societies as well. Additionally, if you belong to a different religion then there is nothing to stop you from forming a society for it.
After joining the Christian Union, I decided to help with the water station which they do once a fortnight outside Quack. We meet outside the Engine Shed at midnight to supply bottles of water to people leaving Quack. We do this to help keep them hydrated but also to try and share our faith with them if they want to talk to us about it. We don’t try to force it on people, we stay casual and it’s also a fun time for us all to meet up as friends within the Christian Union.
The other great thing about Lincoln as a city is that there are several great churches. They offer a variety of worship styles to make sure that anyone can feel comfortable continuing in their faith whilst being at university. I personally go to TCM Baptist church as it is similar to my church back home and made me feel very comfortable here. Finding a group of friendly, likeminded people has really helped me to settle in and enjoy my time in Lincoln.
On a more personal note, regardless of what your religious beliefs are, you are safe at the University of Lincoln. You are safe to express your faith and you are safe to be who you are.
The University of Lincoln’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy has a team of chaplains from most major church denominations who can help you with anything you need.