Following the surge in student activism last year, the Student Christian Movement (SCM) have said that they are expecting a record turnout at their annual conference for the second year running.
The event, ‘Still Small Voice’, will explore links between prayer and action. It will run from 4 to 6 February in Swanwick, Derbyshire.
SCM have been outspoken opponents of government plans to treble the cap on tuition fees. The policy was narrowly approved by the House of Commons in December.
The Movement also gave its backing to nonviolent direct action against fee increases and other economic injustices, citing the example of Jesus’ protest in the Jerusalem Temple.
“Exploring the links between prayer and action is particularly relevant following the recent protests over tuition fees,” explained SCM”s Co-ordinator, Hilary Topp, “We hope the conference will be a chance for students to come together and be refreshed and inspired”.
The keynote speakers will be the feminist theologian Nicola Slee, and the socialist writer and Anglican priest Ken Leech.
The programme also includes workshops on topics including Orthodox prayer, community organising, mental health, discipleship and different ways of reading the Bible.
There will be a Campaigns Corner, where students will be asked to vote for which issues they would like SCM to focus their advocacy and campaign work on over the next year, and a Prayer Walk around the grounds.
“This is a really exciting time to be a Christian student,” said Charlotte Thompson, a student at Birmingham University.
She explained, “Through the centuries, followers of Jesus have been challenged and called to combine prayer with action. The recent campaign against rises in tuition fees has mobilised many young people to take action for the first time and we hope this will be the beginning of a renewed movement for social justice and equality.”