Getting started

Sport and wellbeing is vital for the Church of England’s mission strategy to be a church for ‘for all people in all places’.

It gives us the opportunity to connect with over 60% of England’s population, the vast majority of whom are not in church regularly. It’s an invitation for us to grow as disciples by integrating faith with a ‘whole person’ way of life (body, mind and spirit), and to seek and serve God’s Kingdom for the whole of life.

Get ready, get set and go!

There are many ways you can get started. The first thing to do is pray, listen to God, and map what is already going on in your area with regards to Sport and Wellbeing. There are public bodies that can be useful in this initial exploration, to ensure that your missional planning arises out of the needs of your particular community:

Active Partnerships 

https://www.activepartnerships.org/ is a good place to find a local partner and gain insight into what’s happening near to you already.

Health and Wellbeing Boards

Find out more about your local Health and Wellbeing Board – what are the needs of your communities? How might you join in? The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO) has some helpful guidance on its KnowHow website.

Sport England 

See the Active Lives surveys on the Sport England website, which give a lots of useful insight. Funding streams are also available.

National Social Prescribing Academy

Healthcare professionals are seeking to partner with others to offer fitness and wellbeing to provide a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. How might your church join in with this important approach to health in our communities?

See the National Academy for Social Prescribing – Dedicated to the advancement of social prescribing through promotion, collaboration and innovation 

What’s already in your hands?

Once you have an idea of what’s already going on in your context, consider what resources and facilities are close by which you could tap into. For example:

  • Church buildings and land to host a missional sport and wellbeing initiative
  • Schools
  • Recreation ground – Outdoors
  • Football Cage/Gyms/Sports Club/GPs/Parkrun/Leisure Centres/Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).
  • People in your church who are involved in a sports club/fitness class/gym who might be called to grow a ministry or become a chaplain in these spaces
  • Coaches/Fitness Instructors/Personal trainers in your church or local area looking for work
  • People willing to support in different ways e.g welcome and hospitality
  • Partners to support/join with you

Useful resources and contacts

Take a look at this webinar for some examples from those involved in sport and wellbeing mission for more ideas of how to get started. It is just under an hour long.

After praying, listening, mapping the needs of your community and researching the resources and gifts already to hand for this mission and ministry, you may be at the point where you want to get something started.

There are plenty of Christian para sports organisations that can help and support you:

Home - Ambassadors Football

Kick | Transforming young lives through sport

Welcome | Scripture Union     

Sports Chaplaincy UK | Serving the community of sport

We exist to reach the world of sport for Jesus. (christiansinsport.org.uk)

PSALMS | Putting Sport Alongside Local Ministries

Bridge The Gap Football – Football Communities to Connect Young Adults

Project Touchline – Pioneering and transforming Christian Values education through PE/Sport and Collective Worship

Sports ministry training at Ridley Hall (cam.ac.uk)

There also are good examples and learning from the Sport and Wellbeing Project as well as in other dioceses and denominations, if you would like to find out more or discus further contact

Natalie.andrews@churchofengland.org