They arrive tomorrow (the main contingent of students, that is). One of the great privileges of working in a Higher Education Institution with a Church foundation is that Chaplaincy is part of the basic induction process, alongside Registration, Accommodation. etc. Tomorrow, students will arrive between 10am and 4pm, and about 1000 will come through the process.
Actually the start of term is by no means clear any more in St Martin's. 180 PGCEs arrived on 4 Sep, followed by another 350 on 11 Sep, and various other courses beginning in-between. Today it's a case of trying to think of things I will be wishing I had got / printed / collated / bought / organised this time tomorrow.
The key thing for us to remember is that we are on familiar territory, and they will be very nervous and completely boggled by the entire experience. A positive impression is what we are aiming for with the majority of students, and a good connection with the actively Christian.
We've got information packs to give out, free Fair Trade tea-bags ("have your first cuppa on us"), we'll meet up to go to the 9pm Late Evening Service, preceded by pizza in the evening.
Quite a long day, really.
Monday starts early too. Chaplaincy took over revamping the induction sessions, so we developed something which is now called the info show. Short interviews, interspersed by video clips to give a taster of the opportunities and support available at St Martin's, along with a brief intro to some key faces. It was good fun last year. Five half-hour shows with a 15 minute gap in-between each one. We even managed to run to time!
I'll post how it went on Monday night.