A distinctive ministry
In 2015, Chris Andrew, a professional rugby and cricket coach, founder of Roaring Rugby and Reader in Training was invited by the vicar of West of Severn Benefice in the Diocese of Gloucester to deliver some special rugby sessions in his local church school to embrace the spirit of the Rugby World Cup and teach the the game but also develop life skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship and respect. Through this work, Chris was recommended by the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, then Bishop of Tewkesbury to attend a national sports conference at Lambeth Palace on the 22nd February 2016 as a Sports Ambassador for the Diocese of Gloucester. The day included an address by the Most Revd Justin Welby (see below) and consisted of networking and sharing good practice of sports ministry from sports ambassadors from each diocese.
Everyone was encouraged to go out and find new ways of being church, new ways of witness and worship.
Chris returned to Gloucester and together with John Cowen a fellow Reader in training looked at ways of developing professional sports ministry with Christian faith and values teaching in primary schools. John supported Chris through prayer, strategy and networking. In the first year, Project Touchline worked in ten church schools coaching a wide variety of sports. During the academic year of 2019/20 we will be coaching rugby, cricket and hockey for six week programme blocks in 30 schools.