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Giving faith a sporting chance

by Michael Ford last modified 21 May, 2021 04:14 PM

Given the numerous references to sport and exercise in the Bible, it makes sense to use those illustrations to encourage growing faith - or even to combine sport and discipleship together.

Weymouth and Portland Deanery has been working with Chris Andrew, Director of Project Touchline and Archbishops’ Evangelist.

Rural Dean Nick Clarke says:

"We met Chris through a presentation he composed for us as clergy in the Weymouth and Portland Deanery, and we immediately sensed how effective the Project would be in some of our church school contexts.

"Chris has evident skills as a sports coach but much more than these, Chris is clearly able to engage a dynamic faith in God with the physical and spiritual needs of the children in the schools that have hosted him.

Giving faith a sporting chance- hockey coaching

"Project Touchline is a well-crafted programme that fits neatly into the school curriculum, combining PE with the teaching of Christian values. It is dynamic, action-packed and pours out of an enthusiastic heart that is passionate about growing faith amongst the children in the school environment.

"What is also significant is Chris' desire to create pathways for growing faith. The Growing Faith clubs undoubtedly inspire children's faith and spirituality with the aim being to equip and nurture their faith into secondary schooling.

"With the number of church schools in the Weymouth area we are excited at the prospect of what seems to be the aim of a creative partnership between school, home and church and with such partnerships, nurture strong Christian disciples amongst the children and youth, a top priority in our Deanery Plan going forward."

Giving faith a sporting chance- 3D sculpture

Chris says:

"I have just finished a brilliant eight-week programme with St Andrew’s C of E Primary School, who I have been working with since 2019. St Nicholas and St Lawrence C of E Primary School and Wyke Regis C of E Junior School are booked in for Easter 2022.

"I aspire to work with all the clergy and church schools in the deanery, working together to establish new pathways for children to develop their Christian spirituality within the heart of school in time even hoping to make connections with secondary.

"Consistency and collaboration are essential for establishing our Growing Faith prayer clubs and I am thankful to Nick and his colleagues for supporting the project and look forward to working together in the years to come."

The latest video of Project Touchline working with St Andrew’s C of E Primary School, Weymouth can be found here.

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