The Way in a Day - Jan15

Thursday, 8 January, 2015

Student Johnny Davison isn't a Christian, but still shares his life in Carlisle with members of The Way community.

Duration: 8:51   | Download Download video (flv) | Download Download video (wmv) | View on YouTube


Johnny Davison: Hi, I'm a third year student at the University of Cumbria and I'm studying in primary education. I've been in Carlisle for almost two-and-a-half years now and I absolutely love the place; the people, the friends I've made and the communities themselves.  A great example of this is The Way; its tag line is 'Sharing life in Carlisle'. This is a brilliant tag line for it as it truly is sharing life in Carlisle. This can be from just discussions to meeting up with friends; it's brilliant. We get to discuss so many interesting and diverse things, such as God and religion – yes, but also philosophy and ethics, which is perfect. It's so fun. It's a great way to meet people; even for me as a non-Christian it helps me develop as a person.

Adam Mather: Friendship is a massive key element within The Way because without it you're not going to discover, you're not going to open up to new possibilities or new ideas. I kind of lost my way a bit over the years; I mean without The Way I wouldn't have rediscovered Christianity, I wouldn't have rediscovered God. Each time that you trust a person, or a different person, then you can just go to the next step, go to the next level, step by step, bit by bit.

Johnny Davison: I agree he's a radical, I agree that he was a radical, but I don't think because he was a radical and he spoke out... but those ideas were very radical at the time weren't they? The way he spoke was very radical.

Andy Dykes, Young Adults Missioner: One of the things I have the pleasure of doing, as part of The Way, is opening the gospel and opening the Bible with non-Christian students and then discussing and exploring with them what they think about what we're reading. I've been absolutely amazed at how open and ready people are to do this. I spend time each week with people, just exploring some of the things that Jesus is saying, looking at his life, and I've found that if I'm honest about how I'm reading it; if they're honest about how they're reading it, then both of us learn together and our friendship really develops. It's been a great experience for me when we can take that approach; people are so much more open to hearing what we have to say because it's casual, it's relaxed, it feels real and normal.

Shannon Newman: The style of the church is a really great fit for me because it's not like other churches where it's easy to be judged and it is easy to be judged in other churches. But The Way is more of just having a conversation where it's not very stressful and it's very just really like a relaxed atmosphere and you can get to know people better one on one as well as discuss and have questions about the Bible without feeling like you're being judged.

Rowena George, leadership team: The Student Dinner Project is increasing in popularity every week. We're into the second year now and, because of the mix of students that we get from different courses and different years at University, they're telling their friends of course 'cos it's a good deal for £1 for two courses. So we have some students who actually help in the kitchen, we have one young man who's a trainee teacher who's very keen on cooking and he's there every week and we all muck in and do different jobs. That's a real opportunity to get to know one another, we have some conversations in the kitchen from 'what we've been doing that day' to deeper discussions about Christianity and beliefs.

Johnny Davison: Eating together is a really important part of The Way. It's great for students as you can actually get them to sit down and have a meal together which is something maybe a student wouldn't do so much as they would usually eat on their own – and it would usually be something like noodles. But this way you get to sit down, talk to people, create friendships and it's in an open and honest manner too.

Matthew Firth, Minister, The Way: The Way on Wednesday follows on from student dinners and it's a key point of gathering for our community during the week. It's a mixed group of Christians and non-Christians and it's a gathering where people can start to explore the Christian faith, perhaps for the first time. We use all sorts of methods, we use bits of student Alpha, we use creative arts, we explore spirituality and prayer in different ways and it's been really great to have Johnny helping out with leading some of the sessions and bringing a really fresh approach to things. But, as well as that, we've found it's been really important for the Christian members of The Way to gather together on a Sunday evening for worship and prayer and teaching. And we also gather around a Communion meal and we found that this gathering has really become the fuel for the whole spiritual life of the community.

I think the Communion meal on Sunday evening really is a bit of an image of everything that we're doing in The Way. It's relevant, it's informal, it's to do with building relationships and friendships and it's gathering around the message of Jesus so that Communion meal really encapsulates everything we do and the way we do it really is kind of an image of the wider community of the Way and how it operates.

Johnny Davison: OK, so I'm not a Christian but The Way has helped me explore the bigger questions in life and I've loved being part of it.

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