Festive works as part of the Christian Church for the benefit of Further Education Colleges and Sixth Forms in the UK for the glory of God. It is our vision to see ongoing, effective Christian witness in these places, but it is a case of ‘the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.’ We are a small charity with limited manpower, so we need your help.
The facts and figures vary from year to year but according to the most recent data, in England alone, almost 1.3 million 16-18 year olds are in some form of education after the age of 16. Two-thirds of these will be in a Further Education or Sixth Form College. On average you will find about 3000 students studying full time at these colleges, though numbers vary enormously. These students have no statutory right to the provision of religious education or public worship, unlike school sixth forms where this is still the case.
Many colleges have chaplains and all colleges have students who would say they were Christian. They will be studying anything from politics to hairdressing. In many places students meet together to support each other, build each other up in Christ and provide an opportunity for the huge numbers of students in their FE College or Sixth Form to find out about Jesus
At Festive, we firmly believe that FE and Sixth Form students and chaplains need support and encouragement and this is where you could help. We would ask you to consider how you can best support this work – how you can Love Your Local College!
How To Start
Start with prayer! Are there others interested? Find out all you can about your local college including whether there is already a chaplain or CU on site. Get to know any members of staff and ask what sort of help the college might be looking for. Practical ways ahead are:
- Volunteering as a chaplain or encouraging a chaplaincy to be set up
- Mentoring support to the CU
- Providing resources to help with Christian Awareness Events at the college
- Contributing to enrichment or tutorials
- Keeping on praying!
In all you do remember these are educational providers so be as professional as you can.