Some of the participants in a Christian Union group call on Zoom

Merton Christian Union


Merton Christian Union (CU) has continued in fellowship despite a turbulent and unpredictable year. In Michaelmas term, when students were permitted to live in College residence, we held a (socially distanced) Freshers’ Fair, and were overjoyed by the opportunity to meet freshers who were keen to join the Christian community at Merton. In compliance with the Covid-19 regulations, we had weekly group meetings in the College Chapel, where we shared God’s word and prayers with each other. It was a  wonderful chance to spend time with others, from all different years and subjects – and in person, which was an absolute blessing, given we were all craving some community.

In Hilary term, our CU meetings still took place, albeit online, as the majority of Oxford students had been working remotely. Fortunately, we were still able to share a lot with each other, despite being spread throughout the country (and across the world). We continued to read through Philippians and spent time catching up with each other every week of term.

As we returned to Oxford in Trinity term, the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (OICCU) held its annual events week with the theme of 'KNOWN'. There were two talks each day, exploring how Jesus responds to the big questions in life, and how being fully known yet fully loved – especially by Jesus – could be something we all yearn for. With Preliminary and Final exams taking up the rest of term, we didn't always have a chance to meet regularly. However, throughout the summer, we’ve continued to keep in contact and hope to be meeting in some configuration, in person, next term. It’s been a difficult time for fellowship and community, but there is still a lot for which we can be very grateful to God – and grateful most of all that He has borne us, and our faith, through it all.

Alex Beukers (2018) 
Christian Union Rep 2020-21