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Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan University
UK News

Christian students stuck in self-isolation focus on 'unchanging gospel'

by Chantalle Edmunds

Members of Manchester Metropolitan University's Christian Union are finding "hope and freedom in Christ" as around 17-hundred people at the university self-isolate because of a coronavirus outbreak.

Susanna Reid, co-president of the Christian Union, at Manchester Met, spoke to Premier about the uncertainty many students are feeling as they stay in their accommodation after more than one hundred students tested positive for the virus. 

She said that although there are mixed emotions among students, freshers who have contacted the union have had the most: "amazing and inspiring outlook of joy, of trying to find the hope in really weird times. 

"I think that is the joy of the Christian Union, we are focused on the Gospel which is unchanging and we can find our hope and freedom in Christ and that seems to be pretty much the only unchanging thing at the moment, everything feels quite uncertain."

Online groups have been set up by the Christian Union at Manchester Met for bible study.

Susanna Reid told Premier that students have found St Paul's letter to the Philippians to be a comfort, to see the joy Paul found: "when he was quite literally in chains."

Manchester Metropolitan University hit the headlines over the weekend after posters appeared in some windows of University Halls protesting about the situation and asking for refunds. One poster described the halls as HMP MMU, a reference to her Majesty's Prison Service. 

The University issued a statement telling students that the 14 day lockdown was to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the decision was taken in conjunction with Public Health England and Manchester City Council.

On Monday afternoon, Professor Malcolm Press, the university's vice-chancellor said students stuck in self-isolation would be given financial compensation of more than a week's rent. 

Speaking to Sky News, the professor said: "a significant amount of money," would be given along with "basic food" to ensure students felt "protected and cared for."

Meanwhile Glasgow University said it will refund all students in halls of residence one month's rent, along with a £50 payment for food, amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases there.

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