Population: 62.8 million (2012)
Official language: English
Major religions: Christianity
IFES movement: Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF: The Christian Unions)
Most UCCF groups in Great Britain are operating in a post-Christian cultural context which means that many students have little or no understanding of who Jesus is and what Christians believe. Apathy towards truth claims is highly prevalent and getting non-Christians to attend events where they can hear the gospel explained remains a huge challenge.
- over 300 higher and further education institutions; 200 Christian Unions
- around 140 staff and volunteers
- largest group in Cambridge, around 500 students
- smallest groups, around 10 students
UCCF is faced with apathy and negativity towards matters of spirituality and faith. Their challenge is to imaginatively engage with students who are not asking questions about life, reality and the world, and to be a godly presence in a hedonistic student culture.
However they are well equipped to do this: staff and student leaders are clear on the gospel and on apologetics. This focus has led to the launch of ‘Uncover’: seeker Bible studies and gospels which empower students to read Luke with their friends and provide a springboard into discussion and faith-sharing.
View from the inside
Richard Cunningham is the National Director of UCCF. He says, ‘The decision to make the cross central to all that we do has been key in maintaining the unity and focus of our ministry in recent years.’ Richard is motivated by the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:16-20: ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
- that UCCF would find imaginative, creative and engaging ways to show students the beauty of Christ;
- that Christian students would stand strong against the lures of materialism and individualism.