The sports chaplain is expected to provide, “ongoing pastoral and spiritual care, by permission, to those of faith or no faith, for the holistic well-being of all involved in the community of sport.”

The role of a sports chaplain is to be servant-hearted, striving to be pastorally proactive and spiritually reactive. We serve all – A sports chaplain aims to serve all people in the club irrespective of position, beliefs or lifestyle.

There are five key values which Sports Chaplains UK expect chaplains to uphold:

  • Presence – is all about being there, being a difference – Incarnational: “The word became flesh dwelling among us.” “let your light shine”.
  • Excellence – in everything we say and do – we serve an excellent God, Servanthood: “not looking to your own interests, but the interests of others.”
  • Relationship – compassion – Identification: “all things to all people” “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
  • Confidentially– being trusted and a safe port of call
  • Humility – It’s all about Jesus, not our ego and at times it can be humiliating

There are some minimum standards such as a commitment to prayer, pastoral gift, accountable (reference), adhere to safeguarding, consistent attendance at sporting organisation outside of ‘event / match’, commitment to ongoing development, and all this helps demonstrates credibility which is fundamental for a sports chaplain.

The role of the sports chaplain will vary greatly depending on the role defined by the club, as it is very much a permission led activity.  Regular visits to training, the stadium, attendance at sporting events, etc helps develop relationships -with the chaplain endeavouring to act with discernment and sensitivity.

Many chaplains also undertake “traditional” functions for their sporting organisations such as funerals, weddings and scattering of ashes ceremonies. In doing this they can provide clubs with an important link to engagement with the local community.

What Does A Chaplain Do

Introduction to Sports Chaplaincy