In September 2017, Alistair is embarking on a new role as a Chaplain (Padre in Army-speak) in the British Army.
After passing a series of interviews and assessments Alistair has been given a Commission in the Army which will see him become the first Independent Free Church Minister to become a Padre in the British Armed Forces.
The Miracle Trust has been accredited by Churches in Communities International (CiC) who have become a recognised ‘sending
church’ or denomination, and have ordained Alistair as a Chaplain, in order that he can undertake this pioneering role and serve the men and women on the front line of defending the nation.
Sports Chaplaincy is about supporting the whole person in their place of work regardless of their status: each person is as important as another and may at some time need a listening ear or a word of encouragement.
Life at times can throw things our way so that we need to talk to someone outside the organization or club in total confidentiality. The Chaplains role is independent. Confidentiality is crucial and will kept at all times, with the exception of the usual safeguarding and legal requirements.
The Chaplain is there for the club; a neutral person to discuss things with and provide a listening ear. This neutrality is helpful to the club/organization and to the individual seeking pastoral care.
Chaplaincy is about being present and visible at the club on a regular basis, which means that Alistair spends approximately 2 days a week investing time in the different aspects of the Club… Alistair aims to be at the training ground, building relationship with the first team players, coaches and management; he also spends time with the SUFC Academy and SUFC Community Foundation, of which he has been asked to become an Ambassador. Vital to the success in his role as Club Chaplain, Alistair has also found it important to have a regular presence at the ground, and so attends home games, and visits the staff at the ground each week too.
“Professional footballers (and all other athletes alike) are first and foremost PEOPLE. They have the same issues, pressures, joys, successes, hopes and fears as any one else, but their lives off the pitch are often overshadowed by their performance, and their and other people’s expectations of their ability, on the pitch. The role of Club Chaplain enables me to stand with the players, more often that not in the background, in order that there is someone to help them process the pressures of the limelight. It is such a privilege to be Club Chaplain, to build relationships with all players and staff at the club, and support people with my faith and God’s love.”