St Margaret's Youth 'Kickabout'

The Revd Wil North from the Benefice of Barming with Teston shares the format and impact of the hugely successful youth football sessions run in the parish. 

How we manage it

We are affiliated with the Christian charity Kick, who provide us with resources and training. The concept of the club is simple, we want to create an environment where all young people can enjoy sport and in this instance football, regardless of ability or gender. 

This is born out of our Christian belief that Jesus loves and welcomes all, and that we all have a place in the body of Christ.  We now have 31 children on our books.


The group runs for 75mins on a Sunday afternoon at the local park, with the support and permission of the parish council. 

The first half an hour is given to games and drills to help the young people develop some skills and to build their confidence. 

We then break for ‘Coach’s Corner’.  This is where we talk to the young people about our faith, and it is usually linked in some way to sport.  For example, had we been practicing penalties, we might talk about how sometimes we miss the mark, but that’s ok, we have a God who loves us, forgives us and allows us to move on.

For the final part of the session, we play football matches. Throughout the sessions we model an ethos of support and encouragement, always looking for opportunities to build the young people up.


The club reaches not only the young people but also the parents and careers, many of whom stay around to watch. 

They also get to hear Coach’s Corner, and often comment on how our club stands out from others their children have been involved in, mainly because the genuine nature of the inclusivity that we model.

We have seen football families make the transition to Messy Church and the older teens joining the church youth group based on the relationships they have developed on the field.


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