Pioneering new pathways 

Sport in schools can teach the children faith and values, but they will need much more support as they grow and develop.  Longer term support can be provided through the local church, through after-school clubs and through holiday camps.  Making that link will depend on individual situations and is often linked to the work in the school. 

Three examples are given where the link has come from the local church. 

In the Diocese of Gloucester, Project Touchline has been working with the Bisley Benefice.  The PCC are supporting two special sports days to foster deeper links with the schools.  Professional coaching will be provided with faith and values for two local primary schools during curriculum time.

In the Diocese of Salisbury, an exciting four-day multi-sports event at Shaw C of E Primary School was delivered with Rev Shona Hoad, the PCC and Benefice of Atworth with Shaw and Whitley. With a regular attendance of 50 children professional sports coaching was provided in gymnastics, rugby, football, hockey, cricket, dodgeball, netball and athletics. Four Christian values were linked to scripture through each of the sports. The children lived out the values through prayer and faith. Perseverance – “Let us run with perseverance the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end” Hebrews 12.1-2 Courage – “Perfect love casts out all fear” 1 John 4.18 Friendship – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Matthew 7.12 Respect – “Encourage one another and build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5.1

In the Diocese of Gloucester, Project Touchline has been working with the Badminton Benefice.  The PCC are supporting sporty church where we trained the Rev Richard Thomson (writing below) on how to coach a range of sports with faith and values which brought the local community on a Saturday morning to worship, pray and play.

“I am delighted with the ‘sporty church’ activity which we have begun in Acton Turville. It is once a month on a Saturday morning for an hour – and when it rains we use the school hall, otherwise we are on the parish playing field. We used to get two or three families coming to the church for an activity but now with it being sport we get seven or eight families. It is a great opportunity to make contact with young families in the parish and to do some gentle missionary work at the same time with the children. I am extremely grateful to Chris Andrew for running this event with me and helpers. And the mums bring coffee and sweets!”