Sports Chaplaincy

1024px-Sheffield_United_FC_logoIn January 2014, Alistair was invited to be the Sports Chaplain at Sheffield United Football Club by Sheffield Sports Chaplaincy and Sports Chaplaincy UK.

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.

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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.”

 

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