Events Week

What is Events Week?

Durham Christian Union exists to give every student in Durham the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus. University is a formative time where students often decide what they believe and what their individual values are. We want to continue to be a presence of believers in Durham who provide opportunities for students from all over the world to decide what they believe about Jesus. One way in which we challenge what people believe is by holding a week of evangelistic events every February in a marquee beside the library. This is an opportunity for all students to meet Jesus. This is a large and exciting undertaking.

*Note about the Marquee: The Marquee is not just for show, but allows us to be free from certain restrictions other venues such as Lecture theatres might have.

What is the Mission of Events Week?

Events Week’s purpose is to create a space in a neutral venue where people can hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the need they have to put their trust in him. Durham has over 20,000 students and our prayer is that this week will allow engagement with as many of these students as possible. In previous years up to 5000 students have attended the marquee during the week. We hope and pray that events week will, above all, lovingly and faithfully present the gospel as a part of the year-round Christian witness of the 200+ members of the Durham CU community.

How does Events Week work?

During the week there are lunchtime, international and evening talks given by multiple speakers. Throughout the week we hope to engage with both the intellectual questions as well as the heart-longings of students to point them to Jesus. Through these talks and events, we hope and pray that many non-Christians would hear the GOOD NEWS of the gospel, see the hope Christians have for the world through Christ, and that many would turn to him. Our team of speakers will be joined by several local church workers who will support Durham CU members in their evangelism. 

During the week we plan to host lunch bar talks, aimed to engage with key issues that students grapple with and for which only Jesus has the answer. Each day we will have a different speaker, the aim being to have someone who has experience on a specific topic coming to speak on that topic or theme. Following these talks, there will be a question-and-answer session, in which people can voice their objections and queries.Our prayer is that the lunch bars will show students that Jesus is amazing and makes a difference to our everyday lives.

Our evening events will begin with light entertainment and refreshments as our guests are arriving, to provide a welcoming and relaxed environment. The formal part of our evening will kick off with an interview with a Christian guest, which will be followed by a gospel talk. Our prayer is that these talks will offer students the opportunity to encounter Jesus, and that many would come to him. In previous years we have interviewed a wide range of guests including; London banker and Christian philanthropist Ken Costa, ex-UVF activist David Hamilton, Olympic rower Debbie Flood and many past and present Durham students. Our prayer is that these interviews will show how Jesus has impacted the lives of many different people from different backgrounds and cultures and that he brings GOOD NEWS for all people to respond to.

Past Events Weeks

Past themes of Events Weeks have included 2023 More, 2022 Home, 2021 Known, 2020 Vision and 2019 Story. Here are some testimonies from students who have had their lives changed through hearing of God’s saving grace during Events Weeks in recent years.

“Events week is important because it gives us the opportunity to hear about God. As an international student who came from a different religious background, I was welcomed by its friendly community, that inspired me to learn more about God’s identity and centrality, and eventually made me decide to become a Christian myself.”

- 'M' (an International Student who became a Christian at 2022 Home)

“I have a friend called W who I had known from our time studying in foundation and have tried to share the gospel with him since. However, certain physical limitations had made him doubtful of God’s love for him... Yet the talks in MORE particularly James’s interview on suffering greatly encouraged him and he proceeded to come to MORE every chance that he got... Fast forward to a week later after church service, W. asked me how he could walk with God. I told him the only way is to become a Christian and that night he decided to become one himself. MORE has been instrumental in how W. had come to faith.”

- 'J' (International student speaking about how his friend became a Christian at 2023 MORE)

“I only went to three talks throughout the whole week, and had to be persuaded to go to the final one by my friend, but can hand on heart say it was the first step in my walk with Jesus. I left the tent on the last night with a real desire to learn more about Him and prayed to know Him for the first time that evening. 3 years on, I can look back and say that events week gave me the opportunity to investigate the claims of Jesus for myself in a safe and welcoming environment. I went on to study His word, come to trust Him as my Lord and now work for a church.”

-'S' (a former Durham student speaking about how 2020 Vision sparked questions about Christianity)

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