After 91 years, one of TSCF’s oldest groups has adopted a new name. When Auckland’s Evangelical Union formed in 1927—one of TSCF’s four original “EUs”—the word “evangelical” had different connotations. After several semesters of discussions, members voted in August to rename the group “Christian Union.” It’s a name used by another former EU, the University of Canterbury’s CU.
Judge Andrew Becroft, who joined EU as a student in the late 1970s, welcomed the change. “The name Evangelical Union should be understood in the context of its own time,” he said. “It emphasised the centrality of the ‘Evangel’—a risen Lord Jesus Christ. The name carried with it strong conviction that the Bible was God’s inspired and reliable word.”
Andrew recalled how a vote in 1980 to change the name failed due to a technicality; he’s been waiting a long time to see the historic EU moniker replaced. “These days the word is misunderstood, confused with the word ‘evangelistic,’ and is laden with unhelpful stereotypes,” he said. “At least most New Zealanders have a passing understanding of what the word ‘Christian’ might mean. But even then we have some work to do!”