Citygate Students and Twenties exists to see radical, faith filled believers equipped to live a life that is drastically counter-culture, but extends immensely powerful love and compassion to the world around them.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Weekend Wonders

So, for me, this was my first weekend that I've been around in a few weeks due to travelling responsibilities and such, and I can honestly say it was a pleasure to be back with you all!

Citygate Students and Twenties are a wonderful bunch, so do get to know everyone if you're feeling like the newbie.

This weekend was packed full of fun events.

Saturday, around thirty of us gathered for what was appropriately termed 'Hibernationfest', and it involved some serious laziness. The outline of the day involved watching all three, extended edition, Lord of the Rings films, interspersed with some good British food.

That is precisely what we did. Beginning at 11am and not finishing til gone 11pm, we spent the hours gazing upon Middle Earth and pondering how many more cream teas we could possibly manage to eat.

Sofas, bean bags and coffee tables formed a semi circle around the large tv screen, and as people arrived, carrying everything from slippers, to duvets, to pillows to make up boxes and knitting, the day began. 
Andi Northrop kindly draped a red sheet at the back of the room to enhance our viewing and with tea and hot cross buns we got off to a good start. Gradually more and more people began to arrive, and with home made soup served, we paused in the middle of the Fellowship of the Ring for an eating break. 
The day continued, with the Shaw Suite growing steadily more dark as we sat out the film fest. Some people did work, some people did henna. Some people sat on laptops.
David Ashley with various helpers such as Bethany Harbord and India Webb, as well as Rhiannon Price, cooked up a storm and finally at dinner time, around 35 roasts were served as Return of the King began.

It was a wonderful day of quotes, chatting, but generally being around lots of lovely people feeling equally as cool as one another. It was really great to see lots of non-Christian guests with us, enjoying a top quality event and seeing that Christians aren't all weird (apart from being die-hard LOTR fans!)
With Saturday over, Sunday began with a great church service. Sean Theunnissen led us in worship wonderfully, and Guy Miller spoke from Romans 1:18-32. A challenging word, and a great time in God's presence, and we completed the morning doing communion together. Coffee and tea, and me are very good friends. Socialising after the service led us into a tasty lunch. 

Mexican food eaten together probably left everyone with bad breath but full tummys. Again, the Students and Twenties community were served wonderfully by a great team of people in the kitchen, and were then given a wonderful demonstration on how to make burritos, to much applause. 
Spicy food and laughter meant that lunch went down a treat, and people dispersed to head to a number of activities, including sleep, assignments and many went for a walk along the beach! 

Evening activites of Why Jesus, Why Citygate and the pub rounded off a great day nicely. Now it's Monday evening, soon to be Tuesday and the week is beginning to fly past. 

I know I'm getting excited about Cafe 29 on Saturday at 7.30pm. I know there's going to be some serious talent and lots of wonderful performing. That combined with a cafe atmosphere and you lovely people, well, what could be better! 

I shall see you there. BUT if you've got some other plans (why would you!?) we'll be hanging out on Sunday for fun at church, followed by excitement and lunch after. 

You know the drill, cell, adopt a student, message me for details! OR just say hi. I like that too.

Be on the lookout for new people please. You freshers are not the only one to have joined us recently, so make sure you're on the lookout for the people who don't seem to have a big group around them and are looking a little lost or intimidated. I know you are loving, so lets be practical about that love.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, 28 January 2011

A big high five


Louise Ashton
Charlotte Holden
Esther Langford
Louise Crabb
Rhiannon Price
Renée Fernandes
Ben Willshire
Michelle Smith
Claire Skinner
Sophie Schenkermayr
Rachael Smyth
Jess Laming

and anyone else who went to Why Citygate. You guys get a high five and some serious brownie points.
Why Citygate is the course to be on. Finding out about the Citygate vision, meeting the elders and deciding to get stuck in if you agree with what we're about...what could be better.

Part 2 is this Sunday. 7pm at St Swithuns. If you made the first week, head to the second week and I may even give you a hug. I hope you had a good time if you went. Perhaps drag along everybody else this week too!

Come and join the family. 

Happy Friday People!



P.S Get in touch ASAP if you still want to come to In Bude. The event is now officially sold out (a month in advance nearly) due to such a high demand, however we have the odd space if you want to come with us. We'd love to have you.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Piping in the haggis

Now if you're anything like me, the celebration of a Scottish Birthday and a chance to eat haggis is actually no real celebration at all. However, add in a three course dinner, some entertainment, a whole bunch of great people and the chance to put on the swankiest clothes (or themed costumes) you can find, and well, that sounds like a night to remember. 

Tuesday night saw around fifty of us gathering together under the excuse of Robert Burn's Birthday. A famous Scottish poet, who led an interesting life of womanising and freemasonry is probably not something we would often get together to talk about. However, for the sake of some entertainment, and an excuse to get together, we were rather of the opinion, why not. 
James Druce concocted a wonderful menu, and the student team set to work setting things up. The room was set up with six tables, each decorated with ivy and candles. Fairy lights were hung from the pillars of the Shaw Suite, and tartan posters added the Scottish feel. As people arrived they were greeted by drinks and canapés, before settling down to a rather long but hopefully delicious dinner. 

We were treated to some piano playing, as parsnip soup started the evening off. Won't lie, pouring 50 soups and carrying those was no easy task, although squirting cream across them was pretty fun. 
Following soup we embarked upon the very famous tradition (well tradition at least) known as 'piping in the haggis'. For those who didn't witness such a wonderful event, you definitely missed out. Three people marched around the room; one reading a poem, one carrying the haggis on a silver platter and the other a rather sharp and decorative knife. Fortunately for us, we did not take this too seriously...needless to say the people in the parade dissolved into giggles, Becky Welford, I'm talking about you. AND the rest of the room found it mighty funny too. 
Still, hopefully you all feel a little more cultured now you've experienced such an iconic event. Haggis was given to each table, but for some strange reason wasn't all eaten up... 

One course down, and the main gets started as the conversation flows and the evening gets a little weirder. Roast pork, topped with a garnish of parsnip crisps was served, along with very big plates of potatoes, bowls of carrots and broccoli and a dish of braised red cabbage with orange and sultanas. Apple sauce and gravy dishes on the side and the feast begun. The clanging of cutlery and chatter filled the room and the waiters and waitresses left people to it while we also ate some grub. 

People ate their fill, although left a remarkable amount of veg. Did no one ever tell you that it's good to eat your greens? Or in the case, greens, oranges and purples...!

With a small break pudding followed. Cranachan; oatmeal, cream, strawberries, honey and whisky all served in wine glasses with shortbread on the side. A delicious end...well almost. As people began to explode with the amount of food, tea, coffee and mints were served, followed by whisky for those who wanted as we followed in more traditions with a 'toast to the lasses' and then a 'toast to the lads'.
By this point, people had moved from tables, the serving team had become a little distracted in talking to people and hats were being swapped. It was a rather civilised evening, full of good food and good people. And so, for the second year, Citygate Students and Twenties celebrated Burns Night. 

But, we don't just limit events to the Scots. Coming up we've got the second part of Why Citygate, so do head along to that on Sunday Night! Next Saturday (5th Feb) we've got our Open Mic Night - Cafe 29. I look forward to hearing, seeing and chatting to all of you talented people. It's purely social so if you're looking to meet some new people, or if you want to bring your friends along, this is definitely the night to do it!

On Sunday we'll be heading to a pub for lunch so make sure you stay around after church and hang out with us. I know that I haven't seen people properly for ages, so I'd love a little chat with as many people as I can manage in the space of an afternoon!


For all of you geeks out there we have, thanks to the organisation of David Ashley...Hibernationfest. An all day event which involved watching all THREE Lord of the Rings films and eating a roast. The plan is for everyone to have a lazy day. Duvets, sleeping bags, slippers and pillows are almost mandatory. I know some people are bringing work to do, some people are bringing knitting. I know that I am most certainly looking forward to watching some Hobbits and some Elves and seeing all of your lovely faces on Saturday from 11am!
Check out Facebook for more info or send me a nice little message at 
I would love to hear from you! 

So, with a busy few weeks ahead, make sure you are out and about. Things with us are never dull, and the best place for you to be, to grow, and to make friends is at as many events as possible. 

Lots of love, and look out for snowwwww!
Vicki x

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Long time, no see

Going away for the weekend has both it's good points, and it's negatives. Negatives namely being the fact that I don't get to hang out with you lovely people, be at events and see the great things that are going on.

That said, I hear it was a great evening on Saturday at Five Smooth Stones, an incredible morning at Citygate with people becoming members, a great lunch and a busy evening. Not bad for the weekend really is it!?

If anyone feels like being a bit of a guest blogger, drop me an email and I'll get you all set up - even if it's just a little explanation of what's been going on over the past few days.

James and I have just come back from a Student Worker's conference, and after learning all about the joys of student work, I think it's quite exciting to see that lots of stuff is already happening at Citygate.  Just so you guys are aware, in the last term we've had over 30 new students and twenties join us (I reckon it's more like 40) and loads of you have signed up to adopt a student...with great results.

It's wonderful to see the way you make each other welcome and how you get involved in events. I love seeing encouraging facebook messages and hearing stories of the things you've been up to. We're family, and we need to be in each others pockets...we don't want anyone feeling as if they're on the fringe of our rather large group!

If you are feeling a bit on the edge, here's some things to help you:

  • Let me or James know
  • Ask to be 'adopted' 
  • Join a cell group
  • Sign up to the 'Citygate Students and Twenties' facebook group
  • Come along to events
  • Chat to people in red hoodies - they'll connect you up with people
  • Serve in church 

So, as previously promised I'm going to rant and rave and shout about WHY CITYGATE!

It's so important to be stuck in and to get serving. Becoming a member means you agree with what we're about and you want to join the family.Why would you not want to go? 23rd and 30th January at 7pm! Be there!

Other things I'm excited about are Burns Night and In Bude.

Burns Night
The Scottish are wonderful. Great accents, tartan and the peculiar national foods such as haggis. It's entertaining to us, but we're going to celebrate it anyway, and use it as an excuse to put on the smart clothes and eat some smart food, and pretend that we don't have a habit of eating bring and share food on the floor of the Shaw Suite like the students and twenties we really are. It's going to be a good night. James is sorting out the menu, and he's pretty good at that sort of thing so rest assured, you'll be fed well!

In Bude
Now, I must admit that for many of you, this whole thing seems to have gone over your heads. How, I'm not entirely sure, but it's okay, I'll forgive you. Still, Charlotte Young is armed and dangerous and is on a mission to make sure everyone is signing have be warned! 

If you haven't caught what it's about...go HERE and agree to coming. Then get a house sorted and let me know!

Congratualtions to Jake Neil's house, Sarah Baimbridge's house and Jess Laming's house. Each of you are assured of beds to stay in and a roof over your heads as long as you give me some money. (Don't worry, it's not staying in my pocket!)

To the rest of you, at this rate you'll be left all alone back in Bournemouth so get moving and contact me! A weekend in a picturesque northern Cornish town, with great speakers, wonderful friends and some Cornish ice cream. Why exactly are you not excited??

So, enough of my ranting and raving, I'll leave all of this delicious information in your hands (for the time being at least). It may seem that I go on about these things a lot, but lets be honest, if we don't have things to do we get bored, don't see each other, don't grow, and our faith often suffers.

"All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2v44-48
I know that I want to be in a community like this. But I can't do it alone. Get involved, get behind the vision, and lets see where 2011 will lead.

Happy afternoon xxx

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Back with a bang

So it's happened, 2010 has left us, and we're now living in 2011 (which if you ask me, sounds like some sort of futuristic time where we should really all have spaceships and hover boards!)

Still, things are definitely under way, and with many of our students returning to Bournemouth, and our twenties heading back to work, it's about time we got out of the Christmas sleep and got busy. 

This year is going to be the year of the 'big ask', that means asking God for the biggest things you can think of...the kind of thing you could ask your best friend and they'd say 'not on your nelly' (or some equivalent.) I don't really mean houses, or cars, or a new pair of shoes, we're looking to seek God to bring about a change in our town, our nation and across the world. We want to see the Kingdom of God coming to Bournemouth, so that means we've gotta get praying.

PPP is back on Mondays at 7.45pm for us to get together as friends and spend time with God. These are wonderful times that should stir you and shape you. Get along as often as you can.

If you were around on Sunday, Russell brought a brilliant sermon on community, and how small groups are the answer to loneliness, and many other needs we see in the church. Therefore, get yourself in one, or actually attend the one you're a part of! We love our cell groups, and if you need help with finding one, drop me a message and I'll be all too happy to sort you out.

This Saturday is going to be the third part of our Five Smooth Stones, Pure Hedonist season. We've looked at partying, at pornography, and this time the topic is 'All the Lovers'. With a title like this you'd be silly to miss out. Starts at 7.30pm and there'll be a great time of worship before we delve into the topic Martin is teaching on. 

Other things to flag up:

WHY CITYGATE! If you've started coming to Citygate recently and want to stick around, or if you've been here for ages and haven't got round to it yet, this is the course for you. This is the membership course to join the church, and along the way you get to meet the church elders who you've possibly only seen from a distance, but also hear what makes about what makes us tick, and what we think God has called us to. It's fairly exciting. See Facebook for more info! 
...if you don't sign up I may just keep shouting Why Citygate at you/spam your email addresses...mwahahaha!

(As you may be able to tell, I am feeling rather chilled and full of beans after Christmas!)

BURNS NIGHT is another thing thing I may start spamming you about. If you were at the Welcome Meal back in October you'll have experienced the fine dining experience of the wonderful Student and Twenties Team. Well we're back again, but this time with a Scottish twist. Think haggis and poetry, and throw on your suits and dresses. A bargain at £5 for an evening of entertainment. 

Finally, IN BUDE
This I am definitely going to start spamming people about, slipping into conversation and I may even get some stickers that I can put on your forehead to stop you forgetting. Basically, it's a weekend in Cornwall, with your friends, and with God, and some people who are guna teach you a bit more about God. 
Stay in self catering chalets, and explore Cornwall over a weekend. 4th - 6th March BUT you need to book in by the end of January and places to stay are running out.

So, get yourself organised, sorted and ready to launch into the new year. We're ready and raring to go, so get on board.

Lots of love from Vicki xxx