In the UK in 2018 the number of over-16s playing sport once a week, every week has risen to a new record - 15.6 million.
Community engagement through Sport is a brilliant example of how parishes can respond to the Diocesan vision strategy, Transforming Church, Transforming Lives. In particular, it speaks to goal 6 ‘Cultivating Community Partnerships’, which challenges us to be a “force for good in our communities”.
Guildford has a team of Sports Ambassadors - Oli Deeks (Director, Camberley Youth For Christ) Revd Greg Cushing (Vicar, Alfold with Loxwood) and Revd John McCabe (Rector, Byfleet). Sports Ambassadors commit to encouraging more (congregational) participation in Sport and to creating Gospel opportunities through Sport. Across 17 years of ministry in 3 Parishes within Guildford Diocese, John has consistently found that ‘relationships forged through sport have made the greatest contribution to long term congregational growth’. Together we are a team with a Vision: a Sports Ambassador in every congregation, with a target of 30 to be in place by 2020. We’d love to connect with the right person in your parish - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss developing this ministry in your parish.
We also launched the Guildford Diocesan Running Festival in Byfleet which happened on September 29th - for individuals and teams of 4 with race distances of 5k and 10k. View more details. If you’d like to know more about perhaps arranging a similar event, which attracts 47 volunteers, 300 participants, and is our Parish’s biggest annual fundraiser by far, please contact John (details below).
Together let’s build and pray for a strong sports ministry in our Diocese, so that many lives may be blessed, that strong relationships may be created and that many (surprising) people may be transformed for the Gospel.