Movement Magazine: Issue 159


Issue 159 includes an interview with Jasmine Yeboah, Methodist Youth President, a guest article from our partners at Space to Breathe on looking after your wellbeing, and the importance of self-care.






We catch up with

the Methodist Youth

President. PAGE 12


A guest article from

our campaign partner

by Andy Freeman.




we take control of

our own wellbeing?




Cut out and keep

affirmations to calm

the mind. PAGE 32




NEWS 6-8


The importance







The current Methodist Youth President

shares her thoughts on how we can

be more courageous in our faith.



Intercessions from our resource pack

to help you celebrate Student Sunday

with us in February.



Andy Freeman from Space to Breathe,

our campaigns partner, tells us more

about their work.








Jo Fitzsimmons of SelfHarm UK gently

reminds us that we are responsible for

our own wellbeing and shares her self

care tips.

2 MOVEMENT Issue 159




Cut out and keep versions of our

popular #worryfreewednesday posts

on social media.






TITLE 29-33


Why is the tile ‘Son of Mary’

significant, and how can it inform our

theology today?






Dr Lewis explores some of the issues

facing young adult carers and discusses

what support we can offer them.





Three SCM members share their views.

MOVEMENT Issue 159


Welcome to Issue 159 of Movement magazine!

The theme of this issue ties into our latest campaign and

takes a look at Mental Wellbeing. You might have seen our

#WorryFreeWednesday posts on our social media channels,

where we share a weekly encouragement to take time to look

after yourself. On page 27 you can find a cut-out-and-keep

version, which is especially handy if you’re taking time away

from social media to focus on exams or assignments.

The guest feature in this issue is from our campaign partners

Space to Breathe on page 19. Andy Freeman tells us more

about how Space to Breathe came about and how they work

with people to enhance their wellbeing. Jo Fitzsimmons of Self

Harm UK gently reminds us that we are responsible for own

wellbeing, and shares her advice for taking care of ourselves

on page 23.

On page 12 you’ll find our interview with Jasmine Yeboah, the

current Methodist Youth President. Jasmine tells us about her

faith journey and how she looks after her mental wellbeing in a

busy and demanding role.

With Student Sunday quickly approaching we’ve included some

intercessions that you can use in your service on page 17, and

inside you’ll also find the usual news and updates from the


Finally, SCM is looking for volunteer editors to oversee the

publication of future issues of Movement magazine. Do

you have ideas for potential features, or want to hone your

skills as an interviewer? Visit the website to find out more –


Student Christian Movement

Grays Court, 3 Nursery Road, Edgbaston,

Birmingham, B15 3JX

t: 0121 426 4918





t: 0121 426 4918

Movement is published by the Student

Christian Movement (SCM) and is distributed

free to all members, supporters, groups, Link

Churches and affiliated chaplaincies.

SCM is a student-led movement inspired by

Jesus to act for justice and show God’s love in

the world. As a community we come together

to pray, worship and explore faith in an open

and non-judgmental environment.

SCM staff:

National Coordinator: Hilary Topp, Operations

Manager: Lisa Murphy, Finance and

Communications Officer: Ruth Harvey, Regional

Development Worker (North West): Rach

Collins, SCM Connect Project Worker: Rob

Chivers, Regional Development Worker (North

East): Emma Temple, Administration Assistant:

Callum Fisher, Regional Development Worker

(Scotland): Caitlin Wakefield, Church and

Community Fundraiser: Simon Densham.

The views expressed in Movement magazine

are those of the particular authors and

should not be taken to be the policy of the

Student Christian Movement. Acceptance

of advertisements does not constitute an

endorsement by the Student Christian


ISSN 0306-980X

Charity number 1125640

If you find it hard to read the printed version

of Movement, we can send it to you in digital

form. Contact

© 2019 Student Christian Movement

Design: &

4 MOVEMENT Issue 159



17 FEBRUARY 2019

SCM invites you to join us in

celebrating the 2019 Universal Day

of Prayer for Students, on the theme

of Wondering and Wandering. To

help you plan a service or activity

we’ve put together a pack of

resources including sermon notes,

reflections and prayers written by

students, chaplains and theologians.

To download the pack, visit the SCM

website at

studentsunday. Let us know if you’re

planning a service via our social

media channels using the hashtag







MARCH 2019

Come along to our National

Gathering and AGM and join with

students and recent graduates for a

weekend of building community and

deepening faith. We will be joined

by our keynote speaker Amanda

Mukwashi, CEO of Christian Aid

England and Wales, who will be

sharing her experience of prayer and

pilgrimage. Also on the programme

you’ll find a session exploring prayer

from an Orthodox perspective,

workshops on lobbying, late night

worship jamming and a Harry Potter

Bible Study, as well as time to relax

and use the swimming pool!

The AGM is your opportunity to have

your say in how the movement grows

as we celebrate our 130th year,

and members will also elect new

representatives to SCM’s General

Council. This is an event not to be

missed, so book your place today at





13 APRIL 2019

Come and reflect at our day retreat

in Glasgow to prepare for Holy Week.

Known as ‘Lazarus Saturday’ in the

Eastern Orthodox Church, the day

before Palm Sunday has traditionally

been a time of preparation and

contemplation as pilgrims would

weave the palm leaves and crosses

for the following day.

We’ll be thinking about the raising up

of Lazarus – how this prefigures the

resurrection of Jesus, and what this

means for our own lives. The retreat

will be a peaceful and reflective day

with plenty of time for prayer and

meditation. Book your place at www.








MOVEMENT Issue 159




130 YEARS!

SCM came into being in 1889

as a loose network of students

dedicated to missionary work

overseas. It rapidly broadened its

aims and membership to become

the largest student organisation in

Britain. The values of openness,

inclusiveness, radicalism and an

open and challenging approach to

the Christian faith were as important

in the early days of the movement

as they are now.

In 2019, SCM is celebrating its 130th

year with a series of events and the

launch of the 130 Challenge. Will

you celebrate with us by taking on

a challenge of your choice to raise

£130 for SCM’s work? You could try

a sponsored event, or organise a

quiz night or a picnic, donating the

proceeds to our cause.

Speaking about the challenge,

Simon Densham, SCM’s Church

and Community Fundraiser said,

“Taking part in the 130 Challenge

is a great opportunity for SCM’s

members and supporters to use

their skills and talents to support

the work of the movement. If 130

people raised just £130 each they

could raise an amazing £17,000,

which would allow us to continue

to employ Regional Development

Workers to support the movement

at a grassroots level.”

Some of SCM’s members and

Friends have already signed

up to the challenge and will be

undertaking activities such as

running a 5k race, completing

a cryptic crossword a day for

130 days, and selling handmade

greetings cards. Take a look at the

SCM blog or follow us on social

media to find out how others

are taking part, and for all of the

latest information about events to

celebrate this anniversary.

To sign up for the challenge and

to download a fundraising pack





In October students gathered

together in Leeds for an exciting

weekend of worship, conferencing

and amazing vegan food at our

Interrupted by God event. At the

start of the weekend participants

shared a meal provided by the

Rainbow Junktion Real Junk Food

Project Café at All Hallows Church

and got to know one another over

board games.

On Saturday, students joined the

Faith in Political Action Today

conference organised by Project

Bonhoeffer, SCM’s partner in the

Faith in Action Project. Dr Jennifer

McBride, the keynote speaker,

explored Bonhoeffer’s approach

to discipleship, highlighting that

Bonhoeffer claims that costly grace

demands that we are disciples of,

not simply believers in, Jesus.

She went on to explore how

churches must become places of

hospitality to those most neglected

and rejected by society, reflecting

that by entering into mutually

transformative relationships with

the oppressed in our communities,

we all become embodiments of

6 MOVEMENT Issue 159

hope and may all experience the

grace of God. In the evening,

students took part in a theological

reflection workshop and Compline

was led by Durham Joint Anglican

and Methodist Society.

On Sunday, participants attended

local Link Churches before ending

the weekend by sharing lunch


Reflecting on the event for the

SCM blog, SCM member Hattie

said, “My first SCM weekend has

been a roaring success and I would

highly recommend it to anybody.

It has helped me to develop and

deepen my faith and trying new

styles of worship such as Taizé and

Compline gave me plenty of time to

silently reflect on what is happening

in my life right now. I can safely

say that I made some excellent

friendships and I’m already looking

forward to seeing people at the

next SCM event!”





In November SCM attended the

National Youth Ministry Weekend,

a sold-out conference for those

involved in youth and young adult

ministry organised by Youthscape.

Each participant received a copy

of Movement magazine in their

conference pack, and Rob Chivers,

SCM Connect Project Worker, and

Emilia De Luca, an SCM Trustee,

had lots of exciting conversations

with delegates about how SCM

can support young people in their

transition to university.

In December, SCM held a Student

Ministry Forum hosted by the

University of Warwick Chaplaincy,

providing space for local student

workers to network and discuss

student ministry. The forum

allowed participants from a range

of denominations to share their

experiences and to learn from one

another, and plans began to emerge

for a joint celebration of Student

Sunday in February.

Further Student Ministry Forums are

planned across Britain throughout

the year – to find one near you visit

MOVEMENT Issue 159




Regional Development Workers Rach

Collins (North West) and Emma

Temple (North East and Yorkshire)

to support members, communities,

Link Churches and Link Chaplaincies

in Scotland, and Simon will be

working to build relationships with

SCM’s supporters.

In November SCM welcomed two

familiar faces to the staff team.

Simon Densham, who previously

covered our National Coordinator’s

maternity leave, has rejoined the

team as our Church and Community

Fundraiser. Caitlin Wakefield, a

former trustee of SCM, also took up

the post of Regional Development

Worker for Scotland. Caitlin will

be working alongside our other

In February we said goodbye

to Hilary Topp, SCM’s National

Coordinator, after nine and half

years with the movement. Tristan

Marris, Convenor of General Council

and Chair of Trustees said, “Hilary

has led the movement through

the changing landscape of Higher

Education, and SCM has flourished

under her leadership. She will be

greatly missed, and we wish her all

the best for the future.”

8 MOVEMENT Issue 159



Last semester we were focusing on the relationship

between faith and activism – a theme which lies at the

very heart of what SCM does across the country! As part

of this we held a political activism workshop with our local

city councillor Jonathan Pryor. In addition to exploring how

to affect change in the local community, we also had a

workshop on Christianity and Climate Change with Matt

Carmichael, an activist and speaker that regular Greenbelt

attendees might have heard from before.

As well as learning about activism, we also put this

knowledge into practice as we got involved in Interfaith

Week at Leeds, attending such events as “Speed Faithing”

and the Mitsvah Day food drive. This semester, we’re

hoping to be even more active with our work as we turn

our focus towards mental health issues and what we can

do to improve the current mental health situation in the UK.

Alongside learning about and engaging in activism, SCM

Leeds has hosted a number of events, including the

‘Interrupted by God’ weekend in October, where we had

the opportunity to get to know some lovely SCM members

from across the country. 2019 promises to be a good year

for us, as we continue to maintain our usual balance of

activism, reflection and pints down the pub!



Due to a large number of our members graduating over

the summer, or studying abroad this year, we were a little

worried at the start of the year about whether our group

would be able to continue at all! It is for this reason that

we are amazingly grateful that God has sent some more

people our way!

Despite the high turnover, the team is just as active and

focused as last year. Last semester we have taken it in

turns to run our meetings, and the subjects and formats of

these evenings have ranged from a discussion on what we

do when we make time for God; Bible Studies; a discussion

on militarism and remembrance; and a talk on last years’

advent campaign by Christian Aid. We have had some very

supportive and, at times, intimate discussions; which have

really helped us grow as a group.

Our biggest achievement last semester was finally

becoming affiliated with the Students’ Union; this will let

us advertise at university events, and hopefully grow more

in numbers. We are currently planning for this semester

(while not studying for exams!) and trying to figure out

how to accommodate for the larger numbers God may

bring us.


MOVEMENT Issue 159



The 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War on

11th November 1918 was also the start of the tenth Inter-

Faith Week at The Faith Centre at the University of Salford.

We marked the date by collating a display to recognise the

contributions of people of faith around the world during

conflict. It was a great example of all the Chaplains working

together on one project. Many visitors identified with articles

which echoed their faith tradition including Christian, Muslim,

Hindu, Jewish and Sikh.

The display also remembered the comfort, care and

compassion given by Chaplains who served during WW1.

Photographs depicted the familiar work of Chaplains

conducting services and burials in unfamiliar environments,

with one preaching from the cockpit of a plane and another

conducting trench burials.

David Blake of the Museum of Army Chaplaincy gave

invaluable knowledge and support on individual Chaplain

stories. He made each name supplied to him come alive with

a personal story. Closer to home, the Salford Roman Catholic

Archivist provided source material from ‘The Harvest’, a

monthly newspaper. This included the stories of refugees

who found a haven of peace in Salford.


We had a great term at SCM Sheffield. We started the year

with a very successful stall at the Freshers’ Fair, where we

recruited lots of people onto the email list, and our new

committee had loads of ideas of fun things to do and ways to

mix up our meetings.

We decided to restructure our weekly meetings so that we

now focus on a current issue or debate in the media before

leading into wider discussion and ending with a prayerful


Apart from our usual activities, we also made shoeboxes for

Operation Christmas Child as a society, and all participated in

events through our churches and the Sheffield community.

The number of members at our weekly meetings dwindled

slightly as the term went on and work took over, but we are

excited to host more social events next term to draw people



The commonality of the themes within the faith stories still

resonate with us today. “We will remember them.”


10 MOVEMENT Issue 159



My name is Jana and I am a volunteer for Time for God based

at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford. During the week I help

to keep the activities in the church running smoothly, and

there is lots that students can get involved in. On Monday

the community choir meets, and all are welcome to come

along regardless of ability. The choir performs for church and

community events, and they sing a range of music including

pop and show tunes as well as church music. On the second

Thursday of the month there is a film night where we watch

a film together and share in fellowship with one another. We

also host gigs and music events which are popular!

Twice a week we also hold morning prayer, where we sit

together to read a passage from the bible and pray for each

other, and other people. The church also runs an Exploring

Faith group, where people can come and share a meal and

discuss Christianity together.


Last term Lancaster SCM explored a different session structure

with a new topic each week. However, we have continued to

think about and work on our recycling campaign. We think

living sustainably is part of living out our lives as practicing

Christians. Living in a way that respects this beautiful Earth

and with an awareness of how interconnected humanity is.

One of our members attended a trip organised by the

university to a local recycling facility which helped inform

the whole group. Another member of Lancaster SCM has

worked with Green Lancaster (a branch of the Students’

Union) to create and promote a survey to assess knowledge

of recycling on campus. Claire Maxwell, a Moravian minister,

talked to us about why she decided to give up plastic three

years ago, the difficulties, and what a sustainable life is for

her. She gave up lots of tips on how to reduce our plastic use.

Shampoo bars and bamboo toothbrushes all the way!


Part of my work includes going to the University of Salford

Faith Centre each Thursday to help set up for the service and

stay afterwards for a tea or a coffee with staff and students.


MOVEMENT Issue 159


12 MOVEMENT Issue 159

Photo credit TMCP



Jasmine Yeboah is the 2018-19 Youth President of the Methodist

Church, and was elected to the role by young people attending the

Methodist Church’s youth event, 3generate. She is passionate about

helping young people to be courageous in their faith and to know the

love of God.

Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and your faith journey?

I grew up on an estate in Tottenham with my little sister and both my parents. A

couple of fun facts about myself; I’ve been zip-lining through the rain forest in

Costa Rica, I enjoy kick boxing, I studied abroad in America for a semester during

my undergraduate degree, and I’ve been to Rwanda for a mission trip, which was

really exciting!

As for my faith journey, I was not brought up in the church. I had a concept of God

because I went to a Catholic school, but I always thought God was for the good

children, and that they were the only ones he liked; and I wasn’t a goody-goodytwo-shoes

like others were! I think in my mind God was like a teacher, and so I

grew up with that concept of God. I enjoyed myself growing up, and had fun with

my friends, but it got to the point in my life where I realised I didn’t know God. I

knew about him, but I didn’t know who he was. I wanted to pray over situations in

my life, but I didn’t even know how to pray. I realised then that I actually needed

to have a relationship with God. Because of where I came from, with my estate

having a lot of gang culture, when someone is your friend, they become ‘your

ride or your die’, or R.O.D, and you have that person’s back all the time. I thought,

if I’m going to have a relationship with this God, he needs to be my ‘ride or die’,

I don’t want to just pray to him when I need him, but I actually need to walk with

him. I said a prayer asking Jesus Christ to come into my life and be my Lord and

Saviour. I knew that I was not perfect but I had a willing heart to change and be

who God had called me to be.

I started out just praying by myself and didn’t go to church for a year. My Mum

then invited me to a Methodist service at St Mark’s in Tottenham and I went.

That’s when I started to know Christ and change that concept that I grew up with.

Was that an easy journey for you?

When you start off it can be one of the most difficult but lovely things to get your

MOVEMENT Issue 159


head around. It’s like eating a sour sweet! There were so

many things that were new concepts that I didn’t even think

of, and that showed the way I had of thinking was wrong.

For me, learning to forgive was a big thing, because if

someone has wronged you it made sense to repay them for

what they had done. Learning to love God was also tricky,

as I realised that I didn’t even love myself. If you don’t love

yourself, it’s hard to love people, and if you can’t forgive

people, you can’t forgive yourself. I realised it all started

off with me, so I had to learn so much about myself to take

away insecurities about myself. I had to understand the way

I reacted to things and my automatic behaviours, and deal

with the root causes that were mostly just fear and putting

up walls to stop people from hurting me. When I started to

deal with those issues my relationships became better, and

I learned to forgive people.

It’s been a journey – I’ve had many tears, many ‘I don’t

understand this!’ moments, and at times I just wanted God

to give up on me. But God is faithful, not once did He let go

of me, even when I let go of myself.

Did going to university have an impact on your faith?

What was your university experience like?

I think university was very different for me compared to

the stereotypical experience you hear about – I stayed in

London, while all my friends went away and had that party

lifestyle. To be honest, university was a really lonely time for

me, just because all my friends I had from home were away,

and when I came to uni I didn’t want to party, but the people

I met there were all wild. They finally had that freedom you

get from moving away, but growing up on an estate like

mine, I had that freedom from a very young age. It wasn’t

new or fun to me; they were all up for drinking and partying,

but people do that from a young age where I’m from.

I struggled being away from church as well, and things were

difficult with my CU. I joined a non-denominational church

which was good, and I did make some friends, but when I

went to America in my second year it was very different. I

became friends with a woman who was starting a group and

leading Christian bible studies in the university, and I found

myself talking to people and ministering to people more. I

lived with a group of girls, and we really made a good Christian

family group which was an amazing experience. Basketball

games, NFL games, Six Flags – you name it, we went there!

What was it that made you decide to run for Methodist

Youth President?

To be honest, my minister asked me if I wanted to be Youth

President the previous year and I said no, because I thought

I couldn’t do it – for Tottenham maybe, but not for the whole

of the UK! I laughed it off. I had plans to continue studying

and become a primary school teacher, and I wanted to do

my PGCE. I passed my English skills test, but I just missed

out on passing my Maths skills test – I had three attempts

to sit the test, and was five marks out, then four, and then

three. I went back to my minister and he said to apply, and

at that point I had nothing to lose. I applied but still didn’t

think I was going to get it. The other two candidates were

from churched backgrounds, so when I was voted for I was

so thankful to God.

After that a friend who made it onto the PGCE course told

me that the rules had changed, and that I could sit the Maths

skills test as many times as I needed to. It just showed me

that God had a plan for me, because God wanted me to go

for this position. He blocked a path into teaching for me

which led to me applying to be Youth President, and then

opened it again after.

Your election manifesto was all about courage. What

do you think are the biggest barriers to young people

becoming courageous Christians?

I think that out of all the challenges we face, fear is number

one. The opposite of courage is to be fearful. I guess

that’s why everyone’s gone so wild about the film Bird

Box, because it kind of talks about overcoming your fear.

Especially with students and young adults, it’s fear of not

getting acceptance from other people. It can stop you from

even being courageous as you’re thinking ‘what are other

people going to say about me? Am I doing this right?’, and

then you’ve discredited yourself before you’ve even started.

In order to be courageous, you just have to be yourself.

There’s no one like you, and nobody is perfect; even that

person you think is perfect, they’re not. Your mistakes make

you who you are. To be courageous starts by courageously

accepting yourself for who God has made you, and then

you’ll be able to courageous in other ways too.

14 MOVEMENT Issue 159

What have you learned about yourself and your faith

during your time as Methodist Youth President?

I’ve learned that God can use anybody. There’s scripture that

says, “God uses the foolish things of the world to confound

the great”. I’m paraphrasing, but it means that you don’t have

to be the best at speaking or anything, just allow God to use

you, and don’t let your fear keep you back. Don’t discredit

yourself, because no one’s story, or experience, is too small.

Don’t try to conform to who other people are, just be who

God has called you to be.

What will you be doing after your year as Methodist

Youth President?

I’m still praying about it, I have no idea!

We know that you enjoy leading worship – what does

worship mean to you?

I think worship is a lifestyle; although I minister in my choir

and I’m a motivational speaker, I think worship comes from

your personal relationship with God behind closed doors. All

that other stuff is just what comes out from your relationship

MOVEMENT Issue 159

with Christ. If you’re going through a hard time, just express

that to Jesus, don’t try and put on your best face. Worship

in your pain and in your joy. Worship is you giving God

your heart, no matter what you might think is wrong or

bad about yourself. When you give God true worship and

are authentically yourself and using your mistakes to help

people, I think that comes out when you speak, and people

become connected to whatever you say because you’re

being real. When you’re real with Jesus in your worship

behind closed doors, it shows when you’re out in public.

Who or what inspires you?

The woman with the alabaster jar in the Gospel really

inspires me, because she was a woman that had this past,

this life, but she had the courage to walk forward to Jesus.

Regardless of what everyone in the room thought of her, all

she was focused on was Jesus. She knew what they were

saying about her was right, and she didn’t even argue with

them. But she gave her heart, and her very best. Sometimes

it’s not the perfect people but the broken people that God

can use. She really inspires me to look to Jesus and give


my all. Jesus said, “those who forgive more, love more”.

Sometimes people are so ashamed of things they’ve done

or are doing, but those who have been through a lot are

those that can give a lot as well. She inspires me because

she was just so bold.

Someone else that I like and inspires me is Joyce Meyer,

she has been through a lot. She was abused by her own

father from a young age. When she talks she preaches

about the power of Love, the power of God and her healing

process. She wrote a book called The Battlefield of The

Mind and I would recommend it everyone, it’s so powerful.

The theme of this issue of Movement is mental

wellbeing. What do you do to take care of yourself?

I pray. A lot. I have a friend and we call each other ‘prayer

partners’ – we share stuff together, and pray over situations

together, which gives us accountability as well. If we’re

praying to find a job, then she’ll ask me how my job hunt is

going so I know I have to do something about it! Speaking to

her reminds me that I’m not going through anything alone.

If you’re having mental health challenges, a lot of the time

you just want to be by yourself. But if you can, find just

one trustworthy person; not just a person that you can

trust, but a person that you know is walking with God and

can give you good advice. It always helps me to share and

pray with my prayer partner, and in the times where I just

want to shut down and be by myself I have that one person

checking up on me.

What advice would you give to students and young


Be. Your. Self. We have social media and all these things,

and we always see other people as perfect and compare

what they post to our reality, not seeing that what they

post is just a fraction of their life and the best parts of it.

The don’t show their full picture, their struggles. People

compare what they see to their own situations, and it can

make them think they aren’t good enough. Love yourself,

not in a selfish way, but when you love God first and receive

his love for you you’re able to love yourself, and it makes

you a better lover of others. Don’t try and change to suit

other people. Change because you know you will live better

for Christ, not because you want to be like someone else

I want to encourage students to focus, and to not get

distracted. If you can, I would encourage you to focus on

what true love is. Everyone is trying to find some element

of love, but look to God and understand that His love is

true love, and understand how that can impact your life.

Know that you are a world changer, so don’t think small

of yourself as you are able to change the world if you can

focus and put your mind to it. The sky is the limit, for anyone

and everyone, and so for 2019, you should just go for it!

Do you have a favourite piece of scripture or story

from the Bible?

My favourite story is the woman with the alabaster jar that

I mentioned earlier. My favourite scripture is Romans 8:28,

“All things work together for the good of those who love

God, and are called according to his divine purpose”. Every

time I’m going through a hard time I just try to remember

that all things are going to work together for my good, the

good things and the bad things. I believe that everything I

go through, somehow or someway, even if I can’t see why,

will work for my good.

16 MOVEMENT Issue 159



In this prayer, the biddings may be interspersed with verses from

Marty Haugen’s ‘All Are Welcome’, with the first verse coming after

the first bidding, and the final verse coming before the last bidding.

On 17th February 2019,

students around the world

will be joining together to

celebrate the Universal Day

of Prayer for Students, also

known as Student Sunday.

These intercessions have been

written by students in Oxford,

and can be found in our

Student Sunday resource pack

which is available to download

from the SCM website at



Loving God,

May this place be one where students, and others in times of

transition and change,

Feel welcomed, loved and cherished.

Enliven the imaginations of all who pass through our doors,

So that the unity, compassion and freedom you desire for your

children would be realised here,

In this community;

And so that, in being the kind of community you desire,

We may reflect your all-embracing love to the world.


Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,

a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.

Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault

of grace;

here the love of Christ shall end divisions.

All are welcome, all are welcome,

all are welcome in this place.


God at work in the world,

May our relationship with you always be a continuous journey,

where we walk in all your ways.

Make our coming and going more than a physical undertaking;

guide us towards your liberation in Christ.

Prepare us for our passage, O Lord,

so that we may recognise your presence in our midst,

and remember the purpose for which we travel.

MOVEMENT Issue 159



Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words

are strong and true,

where all God’s children dare to seek

to dream God’s reign anew.

Here the cross shall stand as witness and as symbol of

God’s grace;

here as one we claim the faith of Jesus.

All are welcome, all are welcome,

all are welcome in this place.


Speaking God,

May this place be one where your voice may be heard in

the voices of all,

regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or

socioeconomic background.

Inspire us to clothe ourselves with humility,

so that we may learn from one another,

and we hear your story of self-giving love in each other’s



Let us build a house where love is found in water, wine

and wheat:

a banquet hall on holy ground

where peace and justice meet.

Here the love of God, through Jesus,

is revealed in time and space;

as we share in Christ the feast that frees us.

All are welcome, all are welcome,

all are welcome in this place.


Providing God,

May this place be one where hunger is satisfied:

Hunger for community, belonging, love, peace, depth,

and communion with you.

As we receive from you,

May we be grateful for the gifts of your grace,

and generous with our time, energy and resources,

that we may share your abundance with our wider


and so be agents of your kingdom of justice.

Written by Molly Boot and Daniel Roberts.


Let us build a house where hands will reach beyond

the wood and stone

to heal and strengthen, serve and teach, and live the

Word they’ve known.

Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of

God’s face;

let us bring an end to fear and danger.

All are welcome, all are welcome,

all are welcome in this place.


Healing God,

May this place be one where justice is done;

where advocates are formed and sent out by your Spirit

to be your hands and feet in our world.

Soften our hearts, and open our eyes,

that we may see the needs, hurts and longings within and

without this community,

so that we may work with you to tend to them in love.


Let us build a house where all are named, their songs

and visions heard

and loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words

within the Word.

Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith

and songs of grace,

let this house proclaim from floor to rafter.

All are welcome, all are welcome,

all are welcome in this place.


God of love, this is our vision for our students, and for our


That we would see one another the way you see us,

as those worthy of love, dignity and life in all its fullness;

That we would embrace one another as you embrace us


and that by the power of your Spirit, we would be set free

to be fully ourselves,

that together we would grow into the likeness of Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ,



18 MOVEMENT Issue 159

Recently SCM began a partnership with Sheffield-based

company Space to Breathe to explore wellbeing and mental

health for students across the country. Space to Breathe’s

founder Andy Freeman explains more about who they are

and what they do.


I was always someone who was

fascinated by those on the outside.

Whether as a young kid exploring punk

music and campaigning, as a youth

worker who was more focused on those

outside his churches than those inside,

or through my work with 24-7 Prayer

creating urban monasteries for those on

the margins of society.

It was in the margins where the ideas for

Space to Breathe began.

Space to Breathe focuses on improving

people’s wellbeing and mental health,

using spirituality as our main tool to

do this. The ideas and practices we

use began when I started asking, what

was this interest in spirituality that I

was observing across the country? I

saw people attending prayer rooms

and installations who did not go to

church, who did not seem religious and

sometimes even expressed an atheist

standpoint. Why was this?

It became a passion of mine to sit on the

edges and ask the Buddhist family why

they’d come to a Christian prayer event.

To ask the homeless young person why

he felt at home at a prayer monastery run

by 24-7. To ask the University student

why sitting with candles in silence was so

captivating to them. What was going on?

MOVEMENT Issue 159


On reflection, what I was seeing was

the beginning of what many now term

“spiritual but not religious”. This wellused

term is backed by significant

data suggesting that people in the

UK are much more open to spirituality

as a part of their daily lives. This isn’t

religious and often isn’t tied to one

stream or another – but it is genuine

and important to many.

At Space to Breathe we seek to use

simple spirituality to support people’s

wellbeing. We seek to help people live

well, live fully and live deeply.

This can take several shapes:

• Teaching businesses how to make

use of silence.

• Leading a retreat for stressed and

tired teachers.

• Using the arts to unlock our spiritual

side and give our emotions fresh


• Using Ignatian mediations to allow

people to explore their daily lives

and make sense of the struggles

they face.

Mental Health and Wellbeing have

become high profile topics over the

last few years. Increasing strain on the

NHS mixed with a growing awareness

that we generally aren’t that good at

talking about mental health have led

to new initiatives and ideas to help our


In Universities, it is suggested that

five times as many students are

disclosing mental health problems to

their Universities than there were ten

years ago . In 2017, The Guardian’s

Student Survey found that 87% of

first year students were struggling to

cope with social or academic aspects

of University life, with issues such as

isolation, work/study balance and

financial concerns placing highly.

We first met the team from SCM at

the Greenbelt Festival in 2018 and

we were delighted to connect with

kindred spirits who were committed to

many of the same ideas and principles

we are. We began to hatch a plan to

partner around Student Wellbeing and

the beginning of this was a survey

which was published on the SCM

website in December 2018.

We are excited to see what emerges

and are committed to supporting

students navigate their years at

University living well, living fully and

living deeply.

If you’d like to know more about the

work of Space to Breathe you can

find them at

Twitter: @space2breathe or Instagram:


If you’d like to get in touch with

the team you can email them at

At Space to

Breathe we seek

to use simple

spirituality to

support people’s

wellbeing. We seek

to help people live

well, live fully and

live deeply.

20 MOVEMENT Issue 159

faith in


SCM is really excited to see students

working to make a difference in

their communities by putting

their faith into action. David

Hanson, a student at the

University of Glasgow, shares

his experience of working with

a tenants’ union, and reflects

on how his faith plays a role

in his activism.

MOVEMENT Issue 159


Something that crosses my mind quite regularly is the

question of what it means to be a Christian in a secular age.

As an American, I come from a place where Christianity is

still quite dominant culturally, but here in Glasgow, it is a

different story. For many people I know, I am their token

Christian friend and sometimes even their token religious

friend. In some ways I feel that this shouldn’t matter, that I

should be comfortable standing up for my faith. But being

the token Christian matters for how I live out my Christian


Being a Christian is part of why I am highly involved in

social justice causes. My current work is with Living Rent,

a Scottish tenants’ union that fights for radical structural

change to the housing system. We focus on reclaiming

illegally charged fees to tenants, forcing bad landlords

to carry out repairs, and most recently calling upon the

Scottish Government to implement a ban on all evictions

during the winter months. Overall, we call out and face

up to the violence that is inherent in a housing system

beholden to the whims of the market where housing is

conceived as real estate rather than as a home – we want

“Homes for People, Not for Profit.”

These are my good works, my supposed ‘acts of Christian

charity’. But I am not doing it for the sake of charity, either

as an activist for Living Rent or as Christian. One of the

key principles of Living Rent is that we empower tenants

themselves – we don’t merely provide a service to fix their

housing situation. We come alongside them, and through

collective direct action empower people to take part

in the struggle against those who neglect some of their

most basic needs, whether that is their landlord or the


Part of how I have made

sense of my faith and activism

is through liberation theology.

Earlier this year I was given an

article by a priest at my church comparing two different

types of praxis for a theology of liberation. One called

for the formation of basic ecclesial communities (mostly

via the church) and the other called for the formation of

basic human communities. Both strove toward realising

liberation and justice in the world here and now. But in a

secular context, it seems to me that the call to dismantle

injustice is more effectively realised when Christians join

and strengthen basic human communities.

Living Rent is for me a basic human community that works

to rectify injustice at the local level. My faith is just as fully

lived out when I am occupying a landlord’s office as when

I’m singing hymns – though I’m pretty sure there isn’t

much difference every time I hear the Magnificat’s call to

“cast down the mighty” and “lift the lowly”. My church is

a place of nourishment, a place that doesn’t necessarily

attach itself to particular causes but rather validates and

encourages its congregants in their work to realise justice

in the secular world.

I am continually reminded of St. Theresa of Avila’s words

“Christ has no body now but yours” -the work of Christ is

not done and we are called to continue it. It is a radical

call, one that pulls us away from our comfortable lives and

into participation with the ongoing process of liberation.

The more I involve myself with activism, the more my faith

strengthens. For as Jürgen Moltmann said, “the more a

person believes, the more deeply he experiences pain over

the suffering in the world, and the more passionately he

asks about God and the new creation.”

Do you have a story of Faith in Action to share? Get in touch with Emma, our Faith in Action Project Worker,

by emailing

22 MOVEMENT Issue 159

The importance




MOVEMENT Issue 159


Looking after you…

Because you can’t blame anyone else for not doing it!

Annoyingly we can’t rely on others cook for us, clean for us, write essays for us or take

exams for us... Equally we can’t rely on others to look after our emotional and mental

health and wellbeing either! We are responsible for ourselves. If we choose to go to a

late-night party even though we have to get up for a lecture at 9am, we can’t blame

our mates for ‘making us’ go – it was actually our choice. In the same way, if we are

struggling, we can’t rely on someone else to wave their ‘magic wand of wellbeing’ to

make life seem easier and more manageable. As hard as it might be to hear, you are

responsible for you. You’re not responsible for your friend even though you care about

them greatly; and they aren’t responsible for you either. When it comes to looking after

ourselves there are five dimensions of our own care we need to consider:

1. Physical

This includes our diet, sleep, dental care, sexual health and physical wellbeing. It might mean making sure you

eat a few home cooked meals a week, it might mean cutting down on alcohol, it might mean making sure you

get your eight hours of sleep a night, it might mean getting a check-up ‘down there’.

What does being physically well mean to you? How can you practice more self-care for that body of yours that

is the vessel in which your whole life is held?

2. Spiritual

What beliefs do you hold? Are they in any tension with how you live out your life and faith? If so; does that

cause you any difficulty?

How do you nourish your soul? How is your spiritual life challenged? Changed? Guided?

Where do you best connect with God? Is God quietly prompting you to find a bit more space and time for Him?

Is He asking something more of you?

Hmmm... Feeling uncomfortable yet?!

24 MOVEMENT Issue 159

3. Intellectual

University life is not just about lectures and reading weeks. Outside of what you are studying, what makes your

brain work hard? How are you encouraging your personal growth? What about the people you hang out with –

are they all the same as you or are you finding friends from new cultures and countries?

4. Social

Have you got a good network of people you can sound off to on a bad day? People you trust to hold your

personal stuff without blabbing it around? Contrary to public perception, most people only actually have two

good friends in their life, even though social media makes you think they have thousands and something must

be wrong with you for not having that many!

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, having a person you trust is way better than having hundreds of

acquaintances but no one to turn to on a bad day.

5. Emotional

Do you keep track of your emotions or do bad days come up and hit you round the face?

Many of us don’t make enough time for a daily ‘check in’ with ourselves to see how we’re feeling. We probably

text our family or BFF to see how they are, but do we ask the same question of ourselves?

Try this – before you even get out of bed, rate your emotions on a scale of one to ten, with one being

horrendously low and ten being on top of the world! This is your marker for the day – if it’s low then it won’t

take much for you to feel lower. But what actions can you take to make it higher? Remember, it’s no one else’s

responsibility but yours!

Looking at the list above, go through each one and consider a couple of things you can do make a bad day slightly

better. Try the same before you fall asleep. Reflect on your day, and thank God for the good bits – it is proven that

an attitude of gratitude really does improve mental wellbeing!

You can also try writing a journal, drawing your feelings, singing your favourite song lyrics loudly, writing a letter to

yourself about what you plan to change in the next term, plan yourself a retreat day – the possibilities are endless.

Above all, tell someone how you really are instead of replying with ‘fine’ whenever you are asked.

Jo Fitzsimmons is a youth worker and trained counsellor with two decades of experience supporting young people

with their emotional and mental wellbeing. Jo works for SelfHarm UK, and you can find more information on

supporting yourself or a friend who is harming at

MOVEMENT Issue 159


26 MOVEMENT Issue 159

Worry-free Wednesdays

#worryfreewednesday cards to cut out and keep

Each Wednesday we share a message on our social media channels using the hashtag

#worryfreewednesday. Here are some cut-out-and-keep versions for you to carry for whenever you

need them!

“Peace I give to you; my peace I

leave with you. I do not give to

you as the world gives. Do not let

your hearts be troubled, and do

not let them be afraid. John 14: 27

MOVEMENT Issue 159



Self-care is a term that is bandied around a lot,

and people often mistakenly use it to mean an

occasional indulgence. The odd treat here and there

isn’t a bad thing at all, but it’s not what self-care is

about. Self-care is an act of survival. It’s doing the

often mundane daily work of taking care of yourself

and prioritising your physical and mental wellbeing.

It can mean taking your medication on time; eating

foods that will nourish your body and mind; getting

enough sleep; saying no to the things that you are

unable to or don’t want to do; or even stepping

out of your comfort zone. What could you do to

implement the discipline of self-care in your life?

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his

mercies never come to an end; they are new every

morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3: 22-23.

Take five minutes (or more if you have it!) to

meditate on this wonderful verse from an oft

overlooked book of the Bible. It can be incredibly

reassuring to know that God’s love will never run

out, that each morning we are given mercy afresh.

Where can you see God’s faithfulness in your life

this week or month?

Being at peace with who you are is a blessed place

to be! It’s not always easy, but what can you do to

accept where you’re at today?

It’s Okay...

It’s Okay to miss home. It’s Okay to be having the

time of your life. It’s Okay to take time out to rest.

It’s Okay if you’ve had four all-nighters in a row (But

do get some sleep). It’s Okay not to have found your

BFF yet. It’s Okay if you’ve made tonnes of new

friends. It’s Okay to be nervous about the future. It’s

Okay if you’re super excited about what’s to come.

It’s Okay to go with the flow. It’s Okay if you’ve got

everything planned out. It’s Okay to question what

you thought you knew and believed. It’s Okay to be

more sure of your beliefs than ever. What do you

need to tell yourself it’s Okay to think or feel?

Here at SCM we know how big of a toll mental

health issues can take, and the stigma that still

surrounds talking about it in some places. Thankfully

things do seem to be getting better in that regard,

even if it’s slow going sometimes!

We say this a lot, but it really is okay not to be okay.

Do what you’re able to in order to help yourself;

go for walks, do the breathing exercises, seek

counselling, take medication. But know that even if

(and when) it’s still tough despite your best efforts,

that’s okay. We’re rooting for you, and it does get

better. Hang in there, friends.

“Be still, and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10.

Wherever you’re at today, it’s good to take five

minutes away from the busy-ness of life to quieten

ourselves and reflect on the powerful truth of who

God is.

28 MOVEMENT Issue 159



Recovering ‘Son of Mary’

as a relevant christological title


MOVEMENT Issue 159


Revd Raj Bharath Patta reflects on the titles used for Jesus,

and makes the case for a wider use of the title ‘Son of Mary’.

Mary is often projected as ‘Mother

of Christ’ and over the years in some

popular Church traditions she is

celebrated as Theotokos, Mother of

God. As we thank God for mother Mary,

such qualifications in a way discount

her identity, self-worth and agency

as a woman. In one of the Christmas

readings taken from Matthew’s Gospel

(1:18-25), we see the explanation of

the birth of the Messiah presented

from the perspective of Joseph, with

hardly anything to say from Mary’s

perspective or position. This passage

uses at least three Christological

titles – Messiah, Son of David and

Emmanuel. Matthew wants to quickly

introduce Jesus to his audience,

describing his Jewish roots and how

the Old Testament prophecies are

fulfilled in Jesus right at the start of his

Gospel in his birth narratives.

The prominent Christological titles in

the Scriptures include Son of God, Son

of Man, Son of David, Messiah, Lord,

King, Prophet, Priest, Lamb, Shepherd,

and Emmanuel. All have evolved out

of a contextual demand in the early

Christian Church, for they only reflect

the kind of patriarchal world during

which the Gospels were written and

circulated. ‘Son of Mary’ is one of

the most under-recognised or even

unrecognised and even less-explored

Christological titles. It is time now for

us to recover this title, which is of

immense relevance for our times today

in the 21st century. Exploring the title

‘Son of Mary’ is a Biblical, contextual

and theological necessity, for it

conveys profound theological insights

into our Christian faith to identify Jesus

through a woman, in this case his

mother Mary.

Problematising the

title ‘Son of Mary’

Only in two instances is ‘Son of Mary’

mentioned in the Gospels, in Mark 6:3

and in Matthew 13:55, making it one

of the least mentioned Christological

titles in the Gospels. Is this title a

problematic one, or is there a problem

in the title? In Mark 6:3, it is written,

‘“Is not this the carpenter, the son of

Mary and brother of James and Joses

and Judas and Simon, and are not his

sisters here with us?” And they took

offense at him.’ Several scholars have

argued that the title ‘Son of Mary’ in

this Markan context is used to pick

on the ‘illegitimate’ birth of Jesus,

The prominent

Christological titles

in the Scriptures...

Only reflect the

kind of patriarchal

world during

which the Gospels

were written and


30 MOVEMENT Issue 159

‘Son of Mary’

is one of the

most underrecognised

or even

unrecognised and

even less-explored


titles. It is time

now for us to

recover this

title, which is

of immense

relevance for our

times today in the

21st century.

mocking Jesus and his birth outside

of a marriage. This reveals the kind

of patriarchal dominance that was

thriving those days, where Mary’s

womanhood, her image and identity,

was used and misused for the gains of

male arrogance.

The other problem with this title is

demonstrated by Paul, the major and

early contributor of writings in New

Testament, who conspicuously did not

refer to the name of Mary nor to her

virgin birth in any of his epistles. In

Galatians 4:4, he only says that, “But

when the fullness of time had come,

God sent his Son, born of a woman,

born under the law.” Such a conscious

non-referral to Mary raises a brow,

for it only diminishes the worth and

agency of the mother who bore and

delivered a saviour in the baby Jesus.

This also reveals the kind of privilege

male-centeredness was enjoying

in the mission and ministries of the

early Church, for they did not think it

important to affirm in the agency of the

young woman, Mary.

These incidents therefore call us to

read this title subversively, contesting

and unwrapping all the patriarchal

perspectives in the title ‘Son of

Mary’, for in such a title there is a

deep encounter of the divine with the

human, which we celebrate and affirm.

Programming the title

‘Son of Mary’

In her womb, Mary holds the space

where the divine and the mundane

encounter. In Mary’s vulnerability and

fragility as a human, the divine finds

a favour and dwells within her, and

is born out in a fully divine and fully

human Jesus Christ. The Christological

title ‘Son of Mary’ for Jesus aptly

speaks of his calling, his nature and

the purpose of his coming into this

world. The title ‘Son of Mary’ happens

to be nurturing space for both Son of

God and Son of Man to shoot up and

bloom in Jesus Christ. It is here that

the transcendent and the immanent

meet to reveal to the world that out of

the womb of mothers like Mary, divinity

can be formed, be born and take on

the flesh of humankind.

This title in its literal sense conveys

that Jesus is the son of Mary. And

what child does not want to be called

after their mother, particularly when

MOVEMENT Issue 159


she is a woman of courage, singing

songs of revolution, teaching her child

to ‘overthrow the powers’. Mary’s

song, the Magnificat, (Luke 1: 46-55)

reveals her role as a mother. While

some mothers sing lullabies to their

children, Mary has a very revolutionary

song that she sang when she was

pregnant with Jesus. There were

several available songs for Mary in

Nazareth in those days; she could have

chosen a hymn from the Psalmody or

from their hymnal, but instead she

chose to compose a contemporary

song of justice, of her own yearning

for her society, and she sang it for her

son Jesus. Her situation and context

of oppression and discrimination

demanded mother Mary to sing this

radical song of justice. This song

reveals her mothering quality, her

dream for her son, and she raised

Jesus with those values. It could have

been the song that Jesus heard her

sing daily, learning it as an anthem

of justice that influenced his mission.

With that kind of radical nurture from

his mother Mary, there is no surprise

that Jesus became a revolutionary of

his time, critiquing and contesting all

forms of injustice.

‘Son of Mary’ is the most fitting title

for Jesus, for out of Mother came an

Emmanuel, came a Saviour, a Messiah,

a King, a Prophet. To put it another

way, ‘Son of Mary’ is the mother of all

Christological titles of Jesus, and by

understanding this title, we can get

to grips with the rest of the titles of


Pragmatising the title

‘Son of Mary’

This title is important to Jesus because

‘Son of Mary’ is a critique against

the dominant forces of patriarchy

that have not allowed the celebration

of womanhood as an agency of

delivering divine in human form. This

title is important for the Church today

too, because ‘Son of Mary’ challenges

the Church to affirm women as agents

of divine grace and calls on the Church

to confront all forms of violence meted

against women and all genders of

vulnerability. ‘Son of Mary’ is a liberating

affirmation for all those parents and

children who are struggling in life

with broken parental relationships.

This title is the most publicly and

theologically relevant title for Jesus,

In her womb,

Mary holds the

space where

the divine and

the mundane


In Mary’s


and fragility as a

human, the divine

finds a favour and

dwells within her,

and is born out in

a fully divine and

fully human Jesus


32 MOVEMENT Issue 159

It is high time

that we are called

to recover this

very significant

and relevant

Christological title,

‘Son of Mary’,

for it provides

an important

political, spiritual

and social twist in

the kaleidoscope

of Christology,

aptly relevant for

our times today.

as Jesus is situated in the context of

human motherhood, relatable to all

human beings without any dogmatic

assertions. The title ‘Son of Mary’ has

been used more prominently as Isa ibn

Mariyam, Jesus, Son of Mary, in Arabic

in the Muslim faith tradition, for these

friends strongly believe in the virgin

birth of Jesus and him as a prophet.

It is high time that we are called

to recover this very significant and

relevant Christological title, ‘Son of

Mary’, for it provides an important

political, spiritual and social twist in

the kaleidoscope of Christology, aptly

relevant for our times today.

Revd Dr Raj Bharath Patta is a minister in the Stockport Methodist

Circuit, and former General Secretary of SCM India. He blogs at and you can follow him on Twitter @rajpatta.

MOVEMENT Issue 159






34 MOVEMENT Issue 159

“For, indeed, in the social jungle of human existence there is no feeling of

being alive without a sense of identity.” 1

As Erik Erikson has so rightly typified, knowing who we

are and what we are about helps us make sense of

our personhood. Identity helps us carve out a niche in

society by defining how we think about ourselves and

how we relate to others. The exploration of identity

does not occur in a vacuum, and the influence of

external factors and persons play an important role

in our identity development. This is particularly salient

for those young people who provide unpaid care,

assistance, and support for their family members with

health care needs.

When I was eleven years old, my older brother and I

became two of the nearly seven million child and young

adult caregivers in the United States. 2 My mother

acquired a physical disability as a result of a spinal

surgery gone horribly wrong, and my brother had to

drop out of his sophomore year in college to take care

of her, and me. Growing up in the early 2000s, I thought

my older brother and I were the only millennials with

a family caregiving role. Moreover, I didn’t even see

myself as a caregiver until I came across the work of

my PhD supervisor Professor Saul Becker. His work

with children and young adults who provide unpaid

care in their families has spanned decades and has

shaped the creation of legislative policy and supportive

programs in the UK. Called ‘young carers’ in the UK, I

finally discovered there were other young people with

family experiences similar to mine. My brother and I

weren’t alone.


A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend of

family member who needs support due to illness,

disability, mental health problem or an addiction.

Caregiving can look very different across families. The

types of tasks caregivers may perform include physical

care such as lifting a person into bed, personal care

(showering, dressing), and administering medicines.

They may also be responsible for grocery shopping,

household bill payment, cleaning, and cooking. Young

adult caregivers who also look after their siblings can

be found helping with homework or driving them to

and from school. For some families, the young adult

caregiver provides emotional support, serving as the

voice of reason or the shoulder to cry on during times

of stress.

According to The Carers’ Trust 3, there are an estimated

376,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16-25. Of

the young adult carers in college or university, 56%

were struggling because of their caring role, with 17%

saying that they may have to drop out for reasons

associated with their caring role. Young adult carers

are four times more likely to drop out of their college

or university course than other students.


Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.



G., Levine, C. & Naiditch, L. (2005). Young caregivers in the U.S.: Findings from a national survey. Bethesda, MD: National

Alliance on Family Caregiving [in collaboration with the United Hospital Fund].


MOVEMENT Issue 159




When my brother became a young adult carer, those

precious young adulthood years that most spend

finding their identities were stolen from him, and he’d

say that he was uncertain of his identity outside of

being a caregiver. My life, too, changed forever. The

constant worry over my mother’s health and our

finances coupled with the tormenting fear of ‘whatif?’

plagued my thoughts. Besides the non-stop

anxiety, our family’s experience left its mark on me

in other ways. I learned to hide my emotions and say

everything was fine and good, even if it wasn’t.

Being a young adult carer can affect a young person’s

mental health, and many struggle to manage their

education or work life and their caring role. This can

cause added pressure and stress, so it is unsurprising

that 45% of young adult carers reported a mental

health problem. 4 Indeed, nearly all of the participants in

my PhD research expressed that they had experienced

self-harming thoughts in relation to the stressors of

their caring responsibilities.



Be a friend. Your friends with caregiving roles will

appreciate your offers for a cup of tea and a listening

ear, even if they say “everything is fine”.

Be understanding and flexible. In education or

employment, young adult carers may need extra time

to complete assignments or more freedom to set their

working hours. In social settings, recognise that the

nature of caregiving may mean that their plans can

change quickly and unexpectedly, and their free time

is often dependent upon the needs of their loved one.

Be willing to amplify the voices of young adult

carers. We need a more inclusive conversation about

caregiving. Caregivers of all ages are vital members

of society and deserve our recognition and support.

Young adult carers do exist and are not rare, so we

must champion their cause and direct our attention to

addressing their needs in policy, services, and funding.

Every act of caregiving is important. By expanding our

conversation about caregiving, we lift up the young

adult carer to a place of appreciation.

If you are a young adult carer, or know someone who

is, dedicated support is available from Carers Trust

( and The Children’s Society for those

under the age of 18 (



Dr. Feylyn Lewis is a research fellow at the University of Sussex, and her research involves the mental health

needs of adolescent young carers in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, and

Slovenia. Feylyn is also a Trustee of SCM and holds the Black and Minority Ethnic Students’ Rep portfolio

on General Council. You can follow her on Twitter @FeylynLewis.

A previous version of this article was originally posted on

36 MOVEMENT Issue 159





We asked three SCM members to share

their experiences of discerning their vocation.

MOVEMENT Issue 159


My calling to

work with young


Before I went to university I felt the call to be an ordained minister, but I believed that there were some other

things that God wanted to do with my life before I got there, including perhaps a career in mathematics.

When I was growing up, the church I went to partnered with the Pais Movement, whose apprentices give

a year to spend time in schools talking about Jesus, and building up the faith of young people. Because of

this I had a desire to share the Gospel, so when I went to university, I joined the Christian Union. Although

my time in the CU wasn’t the easiest, I still felt that call to share the Gospel. So, alongside my degree, I

started the training to become a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church. As my time at university came to

a close however, I was still unsure about what I really wanted to do as a ‘career’. I decided that I still wanted

to work with young people, and applied again to university to become a Maths Teacher. At the start of the

year, I loved working in the classroom and teaching, but by the end of the year, all the other responsibilities

of teaching caught up with me, and I couldn’t quite cope.

Now, seven years after first coming across Pais in church, I’m volunteering as one of their apprentices. I

am in my second year and leading a team in my home church, and I get the chance to talk to young people

about Jesus, both in the classroom and outside it. I first joined Pais with the intention of learning more

about what it means to have mission as part of my daily life, and right now, I’m bordering on calling myself

an evangelist. In Pais, I see two different streams of my life coming together, ministry and working with

young people. Looking back over where I’ve come from, it seems clear to me now why God has taken me

on each step, even though at the time each step felt wildly different from the last.

I still today feel the call to ordained ministry in the future, but think I’m much better equipped now than I

was six years ago, and will be even more so when that call becomes too strong to resist.

Dean Lawson

38 MOVEMENT Issue 159

When your

vocation isn’t


Recognising vocation can be a difficult task. For some it is hard to discern which of their diverse interests

are the best to pursue. Others may have a recognisable passion that they want to spend their life exploring,

however that doesn’t make the process simple. I also think vocation can encompass the way you approach

life and your broader purpose.

I think it is completely fine to be unsure of route you want to take, or if you do know what your vocation is

it’s fine to take a diversion. My definition of vocation is fairly short term, it is doing what is best for you and

your community (either local or global) for that period of time. I believe that a key calling in life is to treat

ourselves with respect and honour the changing circumstances that we face; this means very different

things for different people and at different times in life.

I am keen to highlight the importance of mental wellbeing in exploring vocation. Particularly as there are

often big decisions to make and disappointments to face in all aspects of life. For every job I’ve had there

have been many interviews without job offers, and even more applications without interviews. Being kind to

yourself through this process and recognising that it is normal is so crucial.

It is also fine to change your focus. It can be so hard to admit to making a mistake, but this can be healthy.

If you realise that your course or job is not enabling you to fulfil your potential or prioritise your wellbeing,

there is no shame in taking time out or exploring a new direction. Some of the hardest decisions I’ve made

have been when I’ve taken a step back from studies or work for health reasons. This is where recognising

self-care and self-respect as a vocation can prevent me from being too frustrated about all the things I

can’t do.

For me, faith and vocation are linked. My faith grounds me and helps to put my life into perspective, it

makes me realise what a small part of the world I am, which I find incredibly reassuring! I don’t have to right

every wrong in the world, I can make mistakes and sometimes doing absolutely nothing is fine. But it also

gives me a better position from which to explore what I can do with my life.

Helena Ripley

MOVEMENT Issue 159


My vocation to

ordained ministry

In September 2012, I arrived at a Baptist church for the first time as a new Christian. I didn’t really know what to

expect: my only experiences of church had been ‘Give me Oil in My Lamp’ and flower festivals at school. But this

was very different: I was excitedly exploring a new-found faith, and as the minister broke bread and poured wine,

I instantly saw myself in her shoes.

It felt like a kind of secret at first: as I began my A Levels I made all kinds of plans for the future, throwing myself

into neurology, chemistry or music, but wondering with God about whether I might be called to something totally

different. Opportunities to experience different kinds of Christian ministry came thick and fast, and I’m incredibly

grateful for all those who generously allowed me to lead youth groups and Bible studies, and encouraged me to

grace the pulpit, even after I passed out from anxiety ten minutes into my first sermon!

By the time I left school, ordained ministry was all I could imagine myself doing, but surely I was too young

to begin training? All the ministers I knew of had done a ‘normal’ job for quite some time before they were

called to ministry. I tried to ignore a burning sense of urgency and applied to study theology without a practical

component, but nothing would quell my dis-ease with pursuing any path other than ministerial training. My

church and my regional minister were enthusiastic that I follow this call and start training for Baptist ministry, so I

eventually applied to Regent’s Park College, Oxford, where I am currently in my final year.

I thought that vocational discernment ended there, or perhaps when I passed the Baptist Union interviews that

meant I was officially a minister-in-training, but it’s only just begun. My studies and placements have expanded

my vision of what ministry can involve; I’ve witnessed powerful reconciliation work in Israel-Palestine, prophetic

campaigning by the Joint Public Issues Team (the Methodist, Baptist and URC public policy and advocacy

group), and pioneering use of the creative arts at Greenbelt. I’ve met incredible thinkers who’ve spent their lives

dreaming up and doing justice, mercy and love, both on paper and in practice. In my reading, I’ve met Christian

mystics who poured themselves out for God and others in ways that looked eccentric, over-the-top or even

dangerous. My faith and my sense of vocation are much less clear-cut than they were two years ago, but they

are far more vibrant as a result.

I’ll be ordained in the summer of 2019, and I’m not quite sure where I’ll go after that, but that’s okay. I used to

believe there was one track set out for me, one route that I had to follow at all costs, but now I know there’s

nowhere I can go where God is not; and if that’s true, then ‘all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner

of thing shall be well.’ (Julian of Norwich, c. 1342-1416)

Molly Boot

40 MOVEMENT Issue 159





Many contemporary Christian

conversations on gender and sexuality

can seem distinctly lacking in depth. In

this book, Linn Marie Tonstad suggests

that the failure of Christianity to really

respond to LGBT+ people, both within

and without the bounds of Christianity,

may be a result of too great a focus on

‘apologetics’, that is, a narrow focus on

justifying this or that stance on marriage

or ordination (or occasionally, gender

transition), rather than on what questions

surrounding gender and sexuality might

contribute to theology more broadly.

In clear and simple language Tonstad

provides a primer both on existing ‘queer

theologies’ and on the state of secular

queer studies; a welcome contribution

given the tendency of many Christians

to stumble into simple mistakes that

easily could’ve been corrected by greater

acquaintance with existing materials.

According to Tonstad, contemporary queer

discourse might be divided into two broad

categories – on the one hand there are

‘liberal’ approaches to LGBT+ identity,

grounded in an account of an essential

‘inmost’ self that is worthy of dignity,

and therefore certain official rights and

recognitions such as marriage. On the

other, there are those who see ‘queerness’

as a potential site for “the transformation

of the very social, political, and economic

structures within which state distribution

of rights and recognition appear to be the

goal of political action.” (p. 68, emphasis


Whilst much of the existing literature

on ‘queer theology’, both popular and

academic, assumes the former approach,

Tonstad wants to ask; If queerness

potentially offers a transformation of

the very conditions of our personal and

social lives (whether we are LGBT+ or

not), then how might this be related to

the transformation that Christianity

purports to offer? For Tonstad, hovering

over both is a concern about finitude, what

it means to be vulnerable and limited, and

the possibilities and dangers this involves.

As such, if you are looking for a good book

on ‘LGBT+ issues’, narrowly defined, you

may be disappointed. If, however, you

are interested in thinking about what

queerness and Christianity might say

about one another more broadly – from

the very first Christian apologists, to the

AIDS crisis, and beyond – Tonstad is an

essential read.






Linn Marie











Most people know of Vicky Beeching for

being a ‘famous gay Christian’, but as an

LGBT+ Christian who knew only the

basics about her and having not read her

book, this podcast made for an interesting

and informative listen. James O’Brien

asked thought provoking and interesting

questions, enquiring about her whole

life with a focus on the Christian aspects

throughout that. Much of what she said

resonated with me, as although our church

experiences are different in many ways, I

heard similarities in some of our LGBT+

church related experiences. I didn’t agree

with all her opinions, particularly around

others being or not being homophobic in

the church, but it still made for a thoughtprovoking

and good listen.

The podcast would make for good

listening for non-LGBT+ people too

and may help provide a good level of

understanding of what some LGBT+

Christians experience in some less

understanding church settings.


Unfiltered with

James O’Brien


MOVEMENT Issue 159



I was a bit wary about watching this

to start with, but by the end of the first

episode I was hooked! As you’d expect

with a name like Sex Education and an

18 certificate, there are a fair few sex

scenes and many sexual discussions, but

it’s actually about so much more. It is a

series about how everyone is different, the

importance of being true to yourself and

going at your own pace, about friendship,

working your way through sixth-form,

peer pressure, expectations and everything

in between.

The characters are instantly likeable,

and their stories are well woven together

throughout – I loved them all, and it felt

like they all added something to the plot. It

turned out to be the best series I’ve watched

in a long time and I was sad to reach the

end. It feels like they’ve left the story open

for a second series, and I can’t wait for it!




I’ve been an avid listener of Rob Bell’s

podcast for years, so when I heard his new

book was coming out I picked up a copy as

soon as I could.

It walks us through some well-loved

passages and stories from the Bible, and

teaches us to see them from a different

perspective, or adds a small detail which

would have been obvious to listeners at the

time but which is lost on modern readers,

giving us a whole new way to understand

what’s being said.

As well as doing this, Bell gives us the tools

we need to ask the right questions about

the texts while we’re reading them, my

favourite being ‘Why did people bother

writing this down?’ He has studied ancient

Hebrew texts for years, and his vast

understanding of the scriptures is made

accessible and engaging in this book.

If you’ve ever struggled with where to start

reading the bible, or how to understand

what these strange stories written

thousands of years ago have to do with us

today, then I would definitely recommend

this book.


Sex Education

Created by Laurie Nunn

Directed by Ben Taylor

Available on Netflix

What is the Bible?

Rob Bell


ISBN: 9780008259600

42 MOVEMENT Issue 159

MOVEMENT Issue 159



student christian movement

Grays Court, 3 Nursery Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3JX

t: 0121 426 4918 e: w:

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines