‘Chill’ was a two week event set up to help students and staff at the university through the stressful exam time. It offered a space to relax, connect and recharge…
We have a real sense of thankfulness for all of the ways we felt that God had blessed us through Chill. The word that seemed to sum up the whole thing for us (despite the weather!) was ‘joy’.
One memory that sticks in our minds is the lovely time we had with a number of drama students who were right in the thick of performances. Originally bumping into them as they practiced Shakespeare around the grounds (which was moving to the point of goosebumps), we invited a group of about 15 along. An hour later two turned up, smiled politely, made some mocktails, played a bit of frisbee and then slipped away. An hour later they returned with two more, who then became fixated on the rather challenging 1000 piece jigsaw and were most concerned that the same puzzle would be there when they returned later. Later that day, a larger crowd of drama students turned up and over the course of those few days, they chose to make Chill there home.
Week two was plagued by rain, but was also rich in joy. We feel the fact that we faithfully and cheerfully stuck with it despite the weather communicated a lot. The weather also did not stop a group of 5 or 6 first years huddling with us under the shelter of the marquee for a few hours playing card games, teaching us spoons and talking about their experiences this first year. This friendship group seemed incredibly fond of each other and it was so encouraging to see how they had found each other in the same flat in halls and formed such strong bonds of friendship.
We had some really cool conversations over the course of the exam period, from talking about the twists and turns of life at home, to chats about a sense of vocation, to hearing about different cultures from international students.
All in all we must have had around 120 students visit us at Chill and a further 40 staff. It was also really encouraging to walk around campus and talk to a further 400 or so students who, on the most part, really warmed to the idea of Chill and were grateful that someone had gone to the effort to create a space where students could de-stress. The University and Student Union were also amazing in how they got behind the idea. We found out that loads of students knew about it all through social media and even through lecturers mentioning it in the classroom.
We are so grateful to you for taking part and for coming alongside us practically and in prayer. Thank you for showing and sharing God’s love with us and with those who came.
Jan, Karen and James and the Chaplaincy team
Bath Spa University