A Catholic in Cambridge

Chase Smith 13 February 2015

The most basic thing I could say about my life is that I’m completely convinced of the love of God for me and for everyone. I try and live my life in response to that, failing drastically, but still with the hope that I might be able to imitate that love a little bit. This is something I experience as the absolute first premise of my life, and it’s really difficult to communicate, as the few of you who haven’t already stopped reading this will soon discover.

My daily life probably looks very similar to yours. I study music at Caius where I’m a choral scholar, I like going to the pub, and I have essay crises and get lost in the UL. Lots of ‘Christian things’ I do are almost invisible, like having a prayer time when I wake up, but some things are perhaps more noticeable. I spend most of Sunday in church, either at Fisher House or at Caius singing Evensong, and I try to dress up some and take time off, to make it a special day.

I don’t have sex; I don’t even go out with people – not because either is bad, but because I’m considering becoming a monk (this is not a good conversation starter). I definitely don’t think I’m better than you because I’m a Christian, but I do believe I look at the world differently to the average student. I don’t make a big distinction between the religious and the secular, and I like having the freedom to be open about my life.

I think the decision to respect and listen to each other is one of the most serious issues we are facing in public life at the moment, and I get frustrated when I see people refusing to do this, in conversations and in the student press. But I could hardly say I feel oppressed here – I have Christian friends in Syria who live on a knife edge, so life’s not so bad, really.

I like making spaces for us to talk about issues of faith, and I organise ways for people to get together and talk, especially between Christian denominations. I’m always open to listen, so don’t stay away because you disagree – have a drink and we can talk things out.