On Wednesday afternoon over 30 students from the Christian Union (CU) froze like statues along the walkways between Central Hall and Langwith. They stood holding leaflets and posters advertising a series of events the Union are putting on across week seven.
The flash mob imitated viral videos, such as the Grand Central Station stunt, stopping still for approximately five minutes before resuming their routes around campus.
Chris Bennigsen, male president of the CU, commented that the flash mob was used as publicity because “[the CU] wanted to do something very obvious which is hard to miss”.
The ‘Events’ week’ will be a series of midday events which have a free lunch and open discussion about questions which are often levied against Christianity, evening music events at a local church and “serve” events where the CU wash bikes, dishes and cook pancakes for students on campus.
Naomi Bailey, female president of the CU, said she wanted, “Everyone on campus [to have] the option to hear and respond to the gospel”.
When asked if this was an example of religious people forcing their beliefs on others, Bennigsen replied: “Definitely not. The theme of the week is ‘Life. Discuss,’ so we want people to engage with us about what we believe, not force them to just accept or reject what was said.”
The themes of the events are designed so that people of all faiths are welcome and able to ask questions about what Christianity is about.
Every year the CU does similar events at freshers’ week, but this week dubbed ‘Life. Discuss,’ is the largest organised project they have undertaken, with well over 100 students organising and running the events. One ex-president of the CU commented: “It’s very important we make it clear we are telling people about Jesus, not recruiting members to the Christian Union”.
Senior members of the CU told Nouse that there was a deliberate effort to “want to serve [people] on campus,” and to not be considered a nuisance.