By Alex Daniel
Halls can be tricky, nights out can be daunting, and the new workload can overwhelm even the most committed fresher by the end of week three. In short, every now and then one just yearns for a friendly face and this is what Ivy Church can provide for students in need.
Based in Didsbury, this Christian faith group have been unremittingly standing outside Owens Park every evening during Freshers’ Week, and will continue to offer care and support (for those so inclined) for as long as it is required. Their mission towards students is simple. They seek to provide refuge for those who are finding that the start-of-term whirl of beer pong, freshers’ excitement and Fifth ecstasy more difficult than expected.
They hope that those who are struggling with the intensity of weekly seminar reading, early morning lectures and fast-approaching coursework deadlines can approach them for advice. It is important to remember too, that for most freshers, this is the first prolonged stretch of time that they have spent away from home. This only compounds the issue when it becomes difficult to cope with your new life. Some turn to alcohol to deal with these problems, while some go into their shell and find themselves feeling alone. Some even turn to drugs. Ivy Church is there to help with any problem, big or small.
Ivy Church maintains that the most important thing you can ever learn is “How much God the Father loves you, because Jesus Christ has done everything necessary for you to live an amazing and powerful life, now and forever.” You don’t need to shell out nine grand a year for that piece of education either.
Indeed, if you’re a Christian looking for a new community, they recommend that you approach them as they are a “going” church. On their website, they state: “We want to see Jesus’ love reach the last, the least and the lost both in the UK and to the ends of the earth.” Whether you’re a Christian or you’re just looking for a new community, they will welcome you with open arms. They are also missionaries, willing to spread their message beyond the confines of those already committed to Jesus. If you need advice on faith or a new direction in life, it is as simple as talking to those friendly people at Ivy Church, who have been stationed outside your new home every evening this week.
If you are struggling with your first few weeks at the University of Manchester, or have encountered new problems at the beginning, second or even third year and beyond, go and have a word. They will listen to what you have to say, and you never know where it might take you.
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