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Sports Chaplaincy celebrates 25 years of serving people in sport
On September 7th an event was hosted in Parliament by the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Labour Faith Envoy and Vice Chair of Christians in Parliament to celebrate the great work God has done through Sports Chaplaincy in supporting the sporting world with pastoral and spiritual care for 25 years. The work was started by John Boyers, then a Baptist Minister in Watford, and who is now chaplain to Manchester United. Over the years, and initially through football, the work has grown such that there are now about 475 sports chaplains across the UK supporting international teams, professional teams, semi-pro and right down to local club level. It is great when we can help connect local churches who want to get involved with their local communities where sport with over 25 million people directly involved in England alone, is surely too big a community for church to ignore? Our strap line is "pastorally proactive, spiritually reactive" but in providing pastoral care it is amazing just how many opportunities you get to quietly share Jesus.
Take a few minutes to watch our anniversary clip here: 25 Years Celebration Video and read what the Baptist Times http://www.baptist.org.uk/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=505639 and Churches Together (England) Churches Together in Englan made of this event and the growing support church is now giving.
In Wales the work too is growing steadily, where we have nearly 40 chaplaincy positions from international level to local level with e.g. 3 chaplains at Swansea City, all professional rugby union regions with some both for the men's and women's game, Glamorgan Cricket club from which we connect with every cricket club in Wales, boxing gyms and 3 chaplains supporting disability sport for which we are world leaders with many countries sending Christian people to see what we do to replicate back home. But we need more chaplains to meet the ever growing demand and more and more connecting local churches with local clubs so that we, God's people, can truly be salt and light in our needy world, helping people with all manner of challenges. Please do prayerfully consider and share with your church how you can get involved.