Video: Welcome to Sports Chaplaincy UK


Sports Chaplaincy UK are here to help those involved in the community of sport or those who would like to help this wonderful community.

There are hundreds of chaplains in the UK and Ireland, providing pastoral and spiritual care to professional and amateur sport. Sports Chaplaincy UK helps train and facilitate the appointment of sports chaplains.

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Chaplaincy can play a vital role in the day-to-day lives of players and staff at football clubs. I applaud the work undertaken and would encourage players and clubs alike to link up with Sports Chaplaincy UK.

Jon Butler
Cymru Premier General Manager Football Association of Wales

Martin, Heather and the Sports Chaplaincy Wales team are a wonderful addition to our events. They, along with the team of chaplains they recruit and manage, have been involved in supporting participants, spectators, volunteers and event staff since 2019. We are so lucky to have them as part of the team.

Rachel Madge
Run For Wales

Professional , Elite or Dedicated athletes sacrifice a lot in striving for excellence . And whilst they may be high value assets , they are not formula one racing cars – they are human beings . And along that journey I know that the sports chaplain can be a vital and valuable confidential layer of support to both athletes  and staff and their families .Being there for them through not just the disappointments and challenges of sport and life in general , but also importantly through the good times , the chaplain can help them hold their talent in conjunction with a bigger picture for their life.

David Humphreys
Former Ulster and Ireland Rugby Out half, Director of Rugby at Ulster and Gloucester and current ECB Director of Cricket Operations

I have personal experience of how valuable a sports chaplain can be and I am both humbled and honoured to take on the position of ambassador in Sports Chaplaincy Scotland.

Ray Montgomerie
Former Scottish professional footballer & SCUK Ambassador

We have as a club benefitted enormously from having a Chaplain and Dario has been of value to not only the players and staff, but also the board.

Gerard Lawlor
ex Chairman, Cliftonville FC

Our club chaplain has helped me to gain a unique perspective on issues I had. He went above and beyond for me in my time of need.

Marcus Kane
Glentoran FC Captain

There are so many things people don’t see going in an athlete’s life away from the playing arena – and this is where the chaplaincy can play a pivotal role.

Megan Bell
Northern Ireland International

Sports Chaplaincy UK has a passion for seeing the local church engage in the community of sport. I’m delighted to celebrate all the work they do with hundreds of chaplains across the country and commend to churches who haven’t considered getting involved in looking at how they can serve their local community to explore this possibility. Working with Sports Chaplaincy UK on the Commonwealth Games 2022, I’ve seen the commitment to support a range of churches. Keep up the good work!

Bishop Mike Royal
Co-CEO of Cinnamon Network UK, Co-Chair for the Birmingham Churches Commonwealth Working Group

The Fit Lives team are good for the social wellbeing of our customers and the team have helped greatly with our charity events.

Kelly Lockyear
Manager Xcel Leisure Complex, Walton on Thames

One of the biggest challenges for the health club industry is member retention. The work of gym chaplains to provide practical support to members and to help clubs build a sense of community is of paramount importance in prolonging the life of a member. Wherever they have been involved, Clubs have seen member retention improve.

Dave Courteen
Managing Director, Mosaic Spa & Health Clubs

I think this sports chaplaincy is really important for players or coaches to have an avenue where they can go and deal with issues of life, not just rugby and sport, with someone who is impartial, totally confidential, and able to really help them in a pastoral way. I think it’s such a vital service because players and coaches alike, we suffer from a lot of things, life in general and not just sport and rugby things. There is a lot of issues that the players have to deal with. If you are a young man and you get injured it’s very serious and can affect you mentally. It is so important that players and coaches have that support and I think that a sports chaplain, along with many other things in their role, offers that.

Byron Hayward
Former Welsh international rugby union player

Personally, I know the importance of chaplaincy in my life and I am delighted to be a patron of Sports Chaplaincy UK recognising the vital work of Chaplains within sport.

Fabrice Muamba
English retired professional footballer

It’s great to see Christians from across the church coming together to
celebrate National Sports Sunday. I am delighted to add my voice to
those Church Leaders cheering on the sporting ministries challenging
us to take our service with the community of sport more serious. If
you haven’t put National Sports Sunday into the calendar in your
church, let me encourage you to do so.

It’s not the big steps but the small ones which we need to take which
will make serving the community of sport part of our DNA!

Bishop Mike Royal
Co-CEO of Cinnamon Network

Sport is growing rapidly throughout our country. Currently there are between 25 – 30 million people taking part in either a sports club or gym. Many clubs come from Catholic roots and we are delighted to support those in our parishes serving God and their communities through sport. National Sports Sunday provides a great opportunity for our communities to experience the joy at the heart of sport. There are a wide range of materials to help parishes pray for and celebrate the different activities in their local communities. I encourage our Catholic community, wherever it finds expression, to explore the many ways that they can celebrate this new event in the Christian calendar.

The Rt Revd Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth
Chair of the Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis, Roman Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

Scripture Union loves National Sports Sunday. This is a chance to pause and be thankful to God for this amazing part of His creation. We know it is not perfect but we see so much joy, hope and restoration through sport. National Sport Sunday also gives us the chance to pray for the men, women, boys and girls who live and share their faith in the world of sport. This could be in a sports club, on a skate park, mountain biking or playing with their mates in the park. So please join us and be thankful and prayerful this Sports Sunday.

Richard Witham
National Sports Mission Leader, Scripture Union

Passion for Sport is passionate about introducing sports fans to Jesus. Fans are as much a part of the sports community as the players and consumers themselves and so it’s a huge privilege to be able to endorse National Sports Sunday. Together let’s grasp the opportunity to make an impact on our local sports communities, through prayer and intentional acts of kindness, and in make Jesus known.

Passion for Sport
Adrian Barnard, Content Manager for Passion for Sport

Ambassadors football looks to help churches get out of their buildings and into their communities using football as a tool to do so. Sports Sunday wants that to happen and we are pleased to help this movement succeed.

Martin Bateman
National Director, Ambassadors Football GB

The Methodist Church believes deeply in building relationships with people right where they are. With almost half the nation involved in sport in some way, the opportunities for mission and (re)introducing diverse people to God’s grace are absolutely staggering!

We enthusiastically support National Sports Sunday. But more than that, we challenge every church, new and old, to leave the building and to get out to the football pitch or parkrun or the cricket stadium and start meeting their neighbours. Not only is it a Gospel challenge — it’s also fun, and you might get healthier in the process!

Rev Trey Hall
Director of Evangelism and Growth of the Methodist Church

As a child growing up in Northern Ireland the idea of playing sport on a Sunday was frowned upon. I remember neighbours looking out the window as we kicked our ball in the cul-de-sac as if I was committing some heinous crime.

What a breath of fresh air it is now to endorse National Sports Sunday! Sport is a great way to relax, have fun and connect with others. From my experience these are sacred opportunities to remind our sports friends that they are loved by the church and Jesus.

Can I encourage my fellow pilgrims to make the most of this opportunity?

Mitch, Co-founder of Crown Jesus Ministries

Whether you’re a player or a follower, sport is something which brings people together to relax and enjoy themselves. Being part of a team of players or followers creates bonds of lasting friendships, communities and networks of support.

National Sports Sunday is a chance to celebrate the gifts of sport and physical talents and to affirm the importance to the human spirit of recreation. It also affords the opportunity to give thanks for all who minister to clubs and teams in our communities though offering a listening ear and pastoral support.

The Most Revd John Davies
The Archbishop of Wales, Church of Wales

For many people sport provides them with their community. I am so glad that the Church engages with this community helping them to find life in all its fullness and warmly commend National Sports Sunday.

Rev Colin Sinclair
Moderator Designate of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

The community of sport is constantly growing with more people taking part in a sport themselves, supporting a children or visiting a gym. This is a huge mission field for us as the church. We are called intentionally to look with the eyes of God at that community and ask how we can join in.

I want to encourage churches, especially Elim churches to take part in National Sports Sunday – even just praying for those sports clubs and gyms around your community!

Rev Mark Greenwood
National Evangelist, Elim Churches

I’m delighted to endorse the second National Sports Sunday. It was encouraging to hear that so many churches took part the first year thinking about how they can actively engage with the community of sport. I want to cheer on all those churches who are looking to take part again and challenge other churches to think about how they can support those in their community.

Steve Clifford
General Director of the Evangelical Alliance

We were delighted to hear that National Sports Sunday will continue this year and are glad to serve the local Church in engaging communities, so that we can make a difference.

Gerrit Bantjes
Care for the Family speaker, In the Arena

It’s no secret that sport plays a huge part in the lives of many young people, and it’s important the Church has a reach into every sphere of society.
National sport Sunday can help in reaching in thousands of teenagers with the Good News of Jesus.


Joel Preston
Evangelism and Missions Director for Youth for Christ

Now with an estimated community of 30 million people, the numbers involved in sport in the UK are staggering. I’d love to see more churches exploring ways of supporting their own local sports clubs and gyms.

This is why I’m supporting National Sports Sunday and encouraging you to do the same. As sports ministries come together, there is a renewed call to the church up and down the land to think about how it better reflects God to the world of sport, and is challenging us to be more intentional.


The Revd Lynn Green
General Secretary Of The Baptist Union:

As a movement of men across the UK that seeks to win other men to Jesus, CVM recognize the role sport plays in building friendships, creating community and finding common ground. CVM are so pleased to cheer on National Sports Sunday in helping create expressions of God’s love and compassion in all sporting communities.

Nathan Blackaby

Sport creates community, and CPO is passionate about helping local churches reach their communities for Christ.
We are delighted that National Sports Sunday is yet another opportunity for churches to get creative in outreach!

Laura Treneer

Sport plays a hugely important part in many peoples’ lives. Often the Church see this as a challenge (particularly Sunday sport) rather than an opportunity. National Sports Sunday is an invitation to Christians to give thanks to God for this opportunity, and consider how we might more effectively get alongside folk who love and participate in sport with the Gospel.

Let me encourage you in your churches to take part in this important day in the church calendar.


The Rt Revd Richard Jackson
Bishop of Lewes, Diocese of Chichester

Hope Together loves empowering the local church to mission – so we are
privileged to add our support for the second year for National Sports
Sunday. Seeing Christians engaging with the community of sport is so important
as we share God’s love in both word and deed.”


Roy Crowne
Executive Director, HOPE.

The Salvation Army are delighted to support the National Sports Sunday taking place on Sunday 19th May. This will be an opportunity to raise the profile of what is available for Christians wanting to engage in the community of sport.

God is calling us everywhere, so that in every encounter, in every journey and in our every day lives, we have opportunities to see what God is doing and join in with that! Connecting your passion for Jesus with your love of sport can provide you fresh opportunities for mission, which could open new doors and allow you to build new relationships in the lives of people within communities across this country.

I would encourage you to use the resources on this website. On your marks, get set, GO!

Rob Moye
Sports Mission Enabler, Enabling Mission Team, Salvation Army

As someone whose faith journey was massively influenced by joining a church football team, I want to endorse National Sports Sunday.

I know from my own experience that sport can be a place where people meet Jesus Christ.

Michael Harvey
Chief Executive National Weekend Of Invitation.

Get involved as a church in National Sports Sunday. Sport is an amazing God given opportunity for the Church not a threat. There are huge possibilities for the Church to be intentionally, actively and deeply involved in millions of people’s lives through sport and so help people encounter God in relevant ways.

Revd Canon Dave Male
Director of Evangelism and Discipleship for the Church of England

Kick London’s mission is to transform young peoples lives with God’s love through sport and support. We want the church at the heart of this mission and believe that National Sports Sunday is a great way to see the church participate in the community of sport.

Joe Lowther
CEO of Kick London

Assemblies of God Chaplaincy are pleased to support the initiative of National Sports Sunday and hope that many of our churches and Sports Chaplains will be involved.

David Spademan
National Chaplaincy Representative for Assemblies of God

Our chaplain has been invaluable to us as an organisation. She has been a fixed point of support for our senior players and workforce for almost 18 months. We are excited about her expanding the support to our age group squads over the coming months and look forward to her joining us for many more seasons to come

Sarah Jones
CEO, Welsh Netball
“Its not good for man to be alone” Genesis 2:18;
We are told in just the second chapter of the bible that we don’t thrive in isolation..
Sport often creates wonderful environments in which communities are built and relationships are allowed to flourish.
In my experiences as a Christian professional rugby league player, Sports Chaplaincy UK has been the archetypal nourishment that encourages those environments to thrive.
Jamie Jones Buchanan
A professional rugby league player and Sports Chplaincy UK Ambassador

Mae Uwch Gynghrair Cymru JD yn falch o gymerwdwyo’r gwasanaeth pwysig ac ymarfeol hwn. ‘Rydym, fel Cynghrair Cenedlaethol, yn hapus iawn bod y gefnogaeth bwysig yma ar gael i unigolion o fewn ein clybiau.

JD Welsh Premier League

The JD Welsh Premier League is proud to endorse and recommend this important and practical service which has been made available to member clubs of our National League in Wales. We’re very happy that this support network is easily accessible to individuals at our clubs.

JD Welsh Premier League

A very special thank you to our Club Chaplain, Duncan Strathdee. A number of people associated with the club have faced personal difficulties over the course of this season and, unseen and unheralded, Duncan has provided them with a listening ear, comfort and guidance that I know has been very much appreciated.

Stuart Brown
Chairman of Stirling Albion FC

Providing Sports Chaplaincy has become an important part of our approach to equality and ethical behaviours. Aside from providing a friendly, familiar face and an open door to confidential advice and support for everyone, there have also been occasions when our Sports Chaplains have made significant and timely interventions supporting athletes, staff and wider service users through some difficult and challenging times.

Jon Morgan
Exec Director of Disability Sports Wales

Sports Chaplaincy has been of huge personal and group benefit within our female international team camp environments. The support has been provided within all our age group teams and senior squad and has proved to be extremely beneficial for players.

Jayne Ludlow
Women’s National Teams Manager Football Association of Wales

Every athlete needs some kind of support and encouragement and a chaplain can be a valuable source of this support.

Anne Wafula Strike
Former Paralympian and Gold medallist athlete, author, and advocate for Play for Change

Sports Chaplaincy is a must have for 21st century athletes.

Paul Elliott, CBE, MBE
Former English professional footballer, member of the FA Inclusion Advisory Board & SCUK Ambassador

Chaplains can be of help to all sorts of people involved with sport, when crisis, need or difficulty comes. I commend the idea of sports chaplaincy and the work of Sports Chaplaincy UK to you.

Sir Alex Ferguson, CBE
Director & Ambassador of Manchester United

As a former player, coach and now manager I cannot recommend highly enough the vital role played by chaplains within football clubs.

Chris Powell
Former manager of Huddersfield Town FC and Charlton Athletic

I would encourage all players the importance of talking and getting off things of your chest. Chaplains need to remind the players that the support is there and they can talk to you about anything – talking is so important.

Robbie Hunter Paul
Retired Rugby League International and TV pundit

Chaplaincy brings a personal touch- people feel they can be listened to as individuals. If chaplaincy was established in every club, I believe it would be of huge benefit to the game as a whole.

Sir Ian McGeechan, OBE
Former coach of Scotland and the British and Irish Lions

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