If you are a new student, welcome to Leeds! And if you are a returning student, welcome back! This is a great city and we hope it will be a wonderful home for you over the next few years.
Last year we asked Clare, a recent graduate, to say something about how Revive works for students. We’re not really a ‘student church’ but we are based in Hyde Park, and students have found a home with us throughout our life. As the university year gets into full swing, we thought this was a good opportunity to repost her thoughts.
Revive is a community of people supporting each other. We meet in each other’s homes to discuss books, pray, watch films, listen to speakers, make music – previously Revive produced a few albums. Technically a Baptist church and having grown out of a youth group, it now consists mainly of families but a fair few 20s/30s too.
Although Revive has had many incarnations over the years, I hazard that its essential character hasn’t changed much. It has remarkably flat leadership with stuff only happening if people do it. People can disagree and that’s ok. You can be open about your mistakes and issues; any question you ask will be considered. We’ve explored things like Jesus’ humanness, truth, new monasticism, sexuality/orientation, socio-economics, feminism, what is the Bible? Many Revive people are dedicating their lives’ work to being creative and pursuing social justice in Leeds. Examples of stuff Revive has got behind include The Narnia Experience, Left Bank, & Joanna Project.
I might describe Revive as the somewhat funny-looking little toe of the church body – it doesn’t suit everyone. For me, Revive became my spiritual home because it was the only place that could embrace and handle my long-repressed questioning nature while showing me something real. I appreciated the lack of pretence and performance: it is – sometimes uncomfortably – personal. Revive could be a good place for you to grow if you are an artist, you are thoughtful, you don’t like hierarchies, you have an idea, you like being outside the student bubble, you like Jesus but aren’t too sure about church…