I've just been to a meeting at UWE (University of the West of England). Basically, I'm a Trustee of The Octagon, which is the chaplaincy building int he heart of a once avowedly secular University, or Polytechnic as it was then.
UWE are part way into a grand £250m master plan, having purchased another 70+ acres from HP, which will ultimately bring much of their operation on one campus, hopefully including Bristol Rovers and Rugby stadium. So, a reasonably large and exciting project.
The Octagon building could be a fly in the ointment - it really needs to be pulled down to make way for one of any number of new buildings. 30,000 students and a projected 3000+ living on campus, a chunk of which will be international students living there throughout the year and not simply during term time, so a 24/7 'village' is being created.
So, how do we engage as Christians in this multi-faith-cultural-environment?
Do we aim for a similar amount of dedicated 'space' int he new build? How do we try to ensure a Christian engagement for future generations of students? (You'll realise this is a tricky question in the present environment). How do we relate to the other faith communities? etc.
Answers, or offers of help, on a postcard please!
Seriously, feel free to contact via firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd rather not leave public comments.
The good news is the next meeting is in Porto Lounge, one of my favourite coffee haunts, now a growing chain, which began here in Bristol.