In memory of, and with great thankfulness for, the role of
Peter Clark
in the formation and growth of SCORE, now ‘Sports Chaplaincy UK’
– Rev. John K Boyers, inaugural National Director of SCORE.
It was with great sadness that I received the news that Peter Clark had died on Tuesday 14th May, and indeed, that the date of the planned ‘Service of Thanksgiving’ to celebrate his wonderfully productive life was planned for 6th June at 1.00pm at Christ Church Baptist Church, King’s Langley, Hertfordshire – a date and time impossible for me. I am therefore pleased to offer this brief appreciation of his huge contribution to SCORE, to stand alongside the many other tributes which will surely illustrate the positive impact of his faith, service and wisdom on the Kingdom of God and within the Baptist Church particularly.
Back in 1977 I was still involved in my theological education at what is now London School of Theology, and was ‘student assistant’ at St James Road Baptist Church, Watford, when God opened a door for chaplaincy work at Watford Football Club. Various people told me that ‘Peter Clark from King’s Langley B.C. is a keen fan and season ticket holder.’ We did meet on several occasions and it was heartening to sense Peter was supportive of this chaplaincy initiative.
Some years after my graduation and ordination, and following my continuing work at St James Road and Watford FC, the connection with Peter became much stronger. Rev. Roy Freestone, then Central Area Superintendent, Rev. David Coffey, then head of the BUGB Department of Mission, and others, felt the BUGB should encourage the formation of a ministry to develop sports chaplaincy inter-denominationally. I was asked to be the National Director of what was then called SCORE, and Peter Clark was given the task of creating a management committee to oversee the initiative. But Peter did much more than that. He built the very foundations of this new organisation, creating a constitution, gaining charitable commission status, guiding us all with typical calmness, wisdom and spiritual insight through the often choppy waters of this venture of faith. And his endorsement of the worth and progress of this new initiative to the BUGB Home Mission Department and to individuals and churches who made vital financial contributions in the early years, enabled SCORE to survive and grow. Peter eventually handed over to others, but not before securing a sound basis for the ministry to emerge as a unique caring Christian contribution to the support offered to all and any staff and players employed at many UK elite sports clubs.
When I retired from the ministry in 2014, there were around 250 official chaplains working in a variety of UK sports. The foundations which Peter Clark established were wise, strong and significant. All at Sports Chaplaincy UK, and especially all involved in those formative years of SCORE, should look back with deep appreciation and thankfulness for his work in those early years. His time as Chairman of the SCORE Management Committee was hugely significant for the beginning and early development of the ministry.
We remember him, and indeed Audrey, with gratitude and thankfulness.
My only regret is that his passing on May 16th meant he failed to see his beloved Watford FC in another Cup Final on the 18th May, an achievement which capped a fine season for them.
All linked with SCORE and Sports Chaplaincy UK remember, and thank God for, Peter Clark’s vital role in the development of sports chaplaincy ministry in the UK.

J.K.B. 30/05/2019