I came to Manchester for a one year placement at the Salford University. I was looking for a church I could go regularly. After few tries in Salford I was brought to Union Hall and I decided to stay. Although it was a bit travel for me I had several reasons why I liked it there. Firstly, since my first visit everybody was so nice to me and they kept being nice all the time. Secondly, Union Hall reminds me my home church in Czech Republic, which means it is an evangelical church with the main focus on a good Bible based teaching. Sermons also contain prayers and combination of old hymns and contemporary worship songs. Beside the regular Sunday meetings the church also offers several different activities you can take part in. You can also get involved in some service easily. I am happy that I could help with piano playing sometimes.
Beside the all mentioned above I am very thankful for the other students in church. It is great to have friend of the similar age and the same faith. We were meeting before sermons at breakfasts for students, also out of the church going for a dinner, to a cinema or on a trip. And later we also started organised fellowship with Bible study, testimony sharing etc. I believe that some of that people will stay my friends for the rest of my life.
The whole church was like a family to me, ready to pray when I needed. Thus, it was difficult for me to say goodbye and go back to my country.
If I have to describe Union Hall Evangelical Church, Hulme, Manchester, I would say it has been my HOME.
As a Christian my purpose before I left my country was not only to succeed in my MSc studies but also have spiritual growth. God offers me that opportunity through Union Hall. The morning and evening services, plus Bible studies have improved my knowledge of God and encouraged me to be a doer not just a hearer.
The international student environment at Union Hall is so great that you can get to meet people from many parts of the world. Most of my great moments in Manchester involved the time shared with them. We have helped each other in our spiritual growth but also in our daily life problems. I think Proverbs 17:17, ” A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” describes well what all of them have been to me.
Besides, as an Ecuadorian international student, coming from a country with different culture, language, and level of education, it would normal for me to face much difficulty in settling into the UK system. However, at Union Hall I found all the support every time I needed help, such a word of encouragement, prayer during exams, as well as help to proof read my essays. It is a joy to be part of this fellowship, and I thank the Lord for leading me here.
After a year, Manchester plus my lovely brothers and sisters from Union Hall, have really impacted my life. God is merciful and faithful, and He will not put us in a place without any support. I do hope that new students can come and enjoy the wonderful fellowship at Union Hall, just as I did.
I have to commend Union Hall in largely contributing to both my enjoyment and settling into Manchester, in my first year of study at the University of Manchester.
There are three main reasons why I love Union Hall:
– the teaching, atmosphere and community.
I have found the sound teaching I have received on both Sunday mornings, evenings and during the bible study I have attended on a Tuesday to have really contributed to my spiritual growth, as well as the in depth discussions I have had the privilege of being exposed to when engaging with other members of the church.
There is a wonderfully warm atmosphere at the church, everyone’s so welcoming and open. Union Hall have really captured the Christian ethos of Agape, and I have really felt cared for at the church. Members of the church have always been eager to be of assistance whether that be through prayer, the opening of their homes to students on a Sunday or general practical care.
And finally, what has been a joy is being given the opportunity to get involved and serve in the church. I feel Union Hall have really grasped the necessity to serve one another in the church for as it says in James 2:22 ‘by works faith was made perfect’. Here at Union Hall I have been able to get stuck in, helping on occasion with the tea or coffee after service, helping with the crèche and sometimes with the kids in Sunday school.
I am second year studying medicinal chemistry. When I arrived at Manchester I was a bit overwhelmed at the variety of churches available so I didn’t really know where to start. However, after having tried several churches one of my friends introduced me to Union Hall and since then I have remained at Union Hall.
One of the reasons that I choose to stick to this church is the fact that it is a small church and so you to get to know everyone and it becomes like a second family. The people are also really friendly and so you feel right at home.
I also like the fact that there are lots of opportunities to get involved in the church for example helping out with tea and coffee and the singing group. There is also a student bible study on Tuesdays which I have recently started going to and it has really helped me to understand the scriptures a lot more. Moreover, there is a student breakfast before the Sunday morning service which is nice way to get to meet other students.
I also find that the timing of the services 10.30 am and 6.30 pm are really good because I don’t feel as rushed in the morning and so I can have a bit of a lie in. The sermons are convicting and so not only do I come out feeling challenged but also having had good spiritual nourishment.
Union Hall has a very special place in our hearts. That’s where we met and got married.
We love the atmosphere and our spiritual family helps us grow in our relationship with God and one another
Nico and Priscilla