It’s our belief that sport is the largest untapped mission field in the world – and that’s where you, me and millions of other Christians come in!

Welcome to the community of sport… a mission field consisting of more than 160,000 clubs, totalling 30 million men, women and children. The church cannot ignore a community of this size and significance.

In the United Kingdom, we are getting to grips with conversations around mental health and there is room for these conversations in all areas of life, including sport. In recent years we have seen how mental health issues can impact even sports stars – (they are human after all!); high-profile England cricketer Marcus Trescothick cut his International short due to depression, Adam Peaty withdrew from the British Championships citing fatigue and ongoing struggles with his mental health and stories of the former Wales manager Gary Speed’s suicide was widely documented in the news and media, meaning sport has been forced into conversation and reform.

This is where Sports Chaplaincy UK can step in. Week in and week out, from the amateur level right up to the elite echelons, there are people in sport all over the country in need of support, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on and a word of encouragement.


At Sports Chaplaincy UK, we believe we are not there to force our beliefs on others; we are there to respond to the questions of life and be there for people who are often treated as commodities by their sport and its fans.

When it comes to taking faith outside the walls of the church, we can sometimes create towers in our minds that we must climb in order to effectively reach people, but Sports Chaplaincy proves that the small things really can make a big difference.

Warren Evans IMART games with player

When I walk into a club and ask people how they’re doing, offer a genuine interest in their welfare and concern for what is happening in their world, with believers and those with no faith at all, I am conveying the heart of God which says, you are valued for who you are, not what you do or can achieve.

Chaplains are not there to preach sermons to players but to help guide perspective on life, given the rigorous demands sport can take on mental wellbeing.

"Week in and week out, from the amateur level right up to the elite echelons, there are people in sport all over the country in need of support, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on and a word of encouragement."

Often people involved in sport embody addictive personalities; if they are to succeed and reach the top level, they must adopt this all-in approach’, but the consequences can be fatal, which is why it is crucial chaplains are available to bring hope, offer an alternative view of life and encourage people, especially when injury hits or form dips.

As the church, we have a crucial responsibility not to force people into a decision as to whether to be in the sports community or the church because we gather at similar times – thus alienating such a large demographic of our nation, but to step out and be a loving presence to communicate the heart of God.

If we can impact sport, we can impact our wider community and the United Kingdom as a whole, which is why Sports Chaplaincy UK has a vision to see a chaplain present in every professional and amateur sports club across the nation. This is best captured in our dream statement that we believe God gave us, which says, We want to see an expression of God’s love and compassion in every community called sport”.

But what does this look like for the local church? Simple acts of kindness like dropping off a bag of oranges to your local club, celebrating community champions, or maybe putting on an end-of-year BBQ for them. Or could you serve as a chaplain? Well, chaplain probably throws up some stereotypical images, but as a former bouncer in excess of six foot, walking around with no dog collar, I probably break the mould. With the correct training, anyone with love for God and people can become a sports chaplain. At Sports Chaplaincy UK, we run training courses and seminars to equip and inspire current and future chaplains, all centred around our key values: presence, excellence, relationship, confidentiality and humility.

Here’s what two of the sportspeople we’ve worked with had to say:

  • Our chaplain was a tremendous help to me through challenges in my life and career and having that support available to me no matter where I played has been crucial. He is for me, and I highly recommend this support to all players.” – international athlete with relational and mental health issues
  • My chaplain was there for me when my dad died, they supported me, prayed for me and listened to me at what was the most difficult time in my life and on reflection I don’t know who else I could have turned to in my club.” – academy player

Could you help fulfil this God-given dream to see the community of sports impacted by the love of God? Head to our website sports​chap​lain​cy​.org​.uk to access our resources or register your interest.

Read more about outreach, or become an Evangelical Alliance member:

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