National Sports Sunday: 17th May 2020

Celebrating the churches contribution to the community of sport

Message from Warren Evans, CEO of Sports Chaplaincy UK

The community of sport consists of 30 million men, women and child and I believe God really cares for them and because of that, so should the church. I’m excited that 2020 marks the third National Sports Sunday and it continues to grow. 

Working with some amazing ministries and partners, we are creating a mark in the ground to see National Sports Sunday developed as a platform to rally the call for more churches to start or pick up the journey to see how they can take part.

If we look at a community no different to anyone else are we any different? We “the church” need to look at this community through the eyes of a compassionate God and see what he sees.

This is why National Sports Sunday matters! 


If you have a heart after God and a heart for people why don’t you join us on the journey, be intentional and make a difference?

Don’t forget to share what you are doing this National Sports Sunday so we can encourage others!

Our Partners

What people are saying about National Sports Sunday

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

Prayer for National Sports Sunday

God of compassion,
You call us to love and value people. On this National Sports Sunday, we pray that you would open our eyes to see the community of sport with your eyes.

Help us to discover again the number of people connected with that community.
We thank you for the gift of sport, which brings people together.
We ask that you would renew the call of your church to become intentionally the hands and feet.

Dare us to pray for you to move us into action, rather than mere words.
For the times we have failed to see sport as a community, but just as an activity, Father, forgive us. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

(Commended for use by the Rt Revd Tony Porter, Bishop of Sherwood and the Church of England Archbishops’ Sport Ambassador)

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Visit our resources area for sermon outlines, prayers, videos and other useful content.

Contacting the National Sports Sunday team

For further information including press enquiries, please email Adam
May, or telephone 07736 949 869. We aim to respond to your response as soon as possible.

Logo Pack

Our thanks to our friends at CPO for creating a new logo for National
Sports Sunday. You can download the logo for your church magazine and
website by clicking the promotion pack.