Skip to main content

News from Sheffield CU: God's quiet work

The origins of Sheffield University Evangelical Union provide yet another illustration of the marvellous workings of our God.

His instruments for the founding of the E.U. were remarkably brought together in such a quiet, unostentatious way that the Union, as it were, just happened, and yet there was not the least doubt in anyone's mind that the power of God was behind it.

A Methodist minister who was taking a degree course at the University, a Church of England vicar of the city, a University lecturer, a doctor of medicine, and two students, one at the end of his third year and the other at the end of his first, united in this venture.

Neither of the students knew each other before June, 1932, but God had been working beforehand and the way was prepared. Both had been led to pray for an E.U. in Sheffield some time before. Then at the beginning of 1932, the third year student met the Rev J.I. Brice of Cliff College, Calver, in the Varsity, and spoke to him about the possibility of an E.U. As both were very busy working for exams, it was arranged that, if another should be brought into touch with them who was also eager for an E.U. it should be taken as a sign that something definite must be done.

Two terms passed, exams came and went, and then the two students were introduced at a Bible Class in the city. Incidentally, it was not by any means a regular occurrence for either to attend the Bible Class. Again, some time elapsed and the second of the two students met a Christian doctor and a lecturer from the University in Fulwood vicarage. They were both found to be eager to see the formulation of an E.U.

It was learned that Dr. Howard Guinness proposed to visit Sheffield to investigate what could be done for Christ in the University. Subsequently events moved quickly. The two students met frequently for prayer. They opened communication with one keen lecturer whom they knew. They met several times in her house,  where Mr Brice joined them, and there all the plans were made, in conjunction with their Unseen Leader, to arrange a meeting for Dr. Guinness.

Eventually in November, Dr. Guinness arrived, and held a small squash in the Men's Club and a larger open meeting in the Varsity. He did not stay in the city two full days but left behind him an E.U. ten strong.

From then onwards, the S.U.E.U. experimented. The first year was spent almost entirely in consolidation. There were still ten members at the end of the year, June 1933, and the Union had been officially recognised and had been promised a room exclusively for the E.U. on the Varsity premises.

The first birthday, November 10th, marked a great decision. Hitherto little had been done with regard to corporate witness, and it was then decided that this must be rectified. The first men's squash was held on November 24th. Although the number of outsiders present was small there is reason to believe that a beginning was made which will issue in great things being done for God.

Report from CU President, J.S. Turner (1933-34) in Christ and the Colleges (Donald Coggan, 1934)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…