Play football INSIDE Gloucester Cathedral!

Published: Thursday May 17, 2018

This amazing event has now happened! Read about it here

Jesus fished with the fishermen and taught with the teachers; would he play football with the footballers? We think so; in fact he’d probably play in goal. (Jesus saves? Get it?!)

WHEN: JUNE 16th 2018 // 10am-9pm

The World Cup is just around the corner, and to celebrate we’re hosting a football tournament in a huge MUGA* which will fill the Nave of Gloucester Cathedral. With a day full of football mayhem (including skills demonstrations, various free games and refreshments provided), you can just come along, or sign up your team and play for ultimate 5-a-side glory.

Diocesan Secretary, Ben Preece-Smith said, “Church is for all of life! We want to show young people that the Cathedral is for them as much as everyone else, and to demonstrate Jesus’ words, ‘I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.’” (John 10:10).

If you don’t have a team to sign up, you’re welcome to come as an individual, to spectate and have a go with some of the other games on the day – for the football tournament itself though, you’ll need a team of school-age kids: further details are on the sign-up form, for questions please contact Andy Poole on ten.k1709218345u.sml1709218345asp@e1709218345loop.1709218345ydna1709218345 or 07895 135317.

TEAM SIGN-UP FORM (sign-ups now closed)

Please note: Primary School teams are all booked up! Spaces left only for Secondary School teams.

We believe that sport and faith go hand-in-hand, and together can provide a great way to open dialogue between people of all backgrounds, and all ages. So we’ve teamed up with Psalms and Scripture Union to help develop sports ministry in the Diocese of Gloucester, as part of our Life vision.

Download the poster →

On sport and the Church…

This isn’t the first time sporting events have been hosted in churches or cathedrals, with Cathedral Skate (in collaboration with Christian Surfers UK) and the Sainsbury School Games being held for some time in Gloucester Cathedral. Speaking about Cathedral Skate in 2016 the Revd Andrew Braddock, Director of Mission and Ministry, said: “Cathedral skate is a brilliant opportunity for us to welcome children, families and young people into the Cathedral for what will be an amazing and memorable event.”

For the last eight years, Malmesbury Abbey has held their hugely successful skate event in their Nave. Youth Worker David Shanks explains, “You can worship God through skating, you can worship God through art, you can worship God through dance, music, anything. [sport] merges all these communities together which had once been separated.”

Brandon, local to the area said, “I’d never seen a skate park in a church before. You walk in the doors and it brings joy. When I first came, I didn’t believe in God at all. I’ve heard how God has impacted people and it’s made me start to believe that God is real”. Phil Williams, Director of Christian Surfers UK adds, “There’s a verse in the bible, John 10:10 which is about commanding that I live life to the full, and that’s how I live my life, and that’s why I’m a bit like the Duracell Bunny really; lots of smiles, lots of action, but it’s living life to the full!”.

We agree, Phil!


*MUGA = Multi Use Games Area.

6 thoughts on “Play football INSIDE Gloucester Cathedral!

  1. As a Christian I find this utterly unacceptable. I entirely agree with the need to bring the church to the people and the need to reach young people is very important. Yes Jesus may have played football with them BUT He would not have done so inside the house of God. God is everywhere and not confined to a building but churches are places of prayer and contemplation in a world of noise and godlessness. This is a step too far. The Christian life is about being different from the world and in trying to become too integrated we risk not being different enough to attract. ‘Be in the works but be not of it’. I know these comments will be disregarded as outdated but I fear for the future of the CofE by taking this direction.

    1. Hi Margaret, I think throughout history the public spaces of a church have been used to connect the church building with the ‘outside’ community; particularly the Nave. Certainly Jesus stood up to inappropriate use, so it’s a good thing to discuss to find the balance that feels right for any given church. Personally I think this use of Gloucester Cathedral is entirely consistent with its own history, and a wonderful thing.

    2. I entirely agree. Places are provided for sport God’s house is provided for worship.
      Why did Jesus turn out the traders from the Temple – He said it was God’s House!

  2. Hello Andy – what a great idea and hopefully it will encourage young people to see the Cathedral and other places of worship as places where they are welcome and where barriers are removed rather than boundaries erected and, with His blessing, to feel God’s presence. Just a thought – my husband plays over-50’s walking football at the YMCA in Cheltenham – might it be an idea to have a demonstration of this to provide an inclusive feel to the joy of football? I shall include his contact email in case you would like him to follow this up. Helen

    1. Helen- Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately the event is aimed at children and young people and with us trying to get as many games as possible done for the young people there won’t be much time to have an exhibition game of walking football. I however think walking football is amazing and we support/run some walking football clubs. However if things change and a opportunity presents itself as we put finishing touches to the day i will let be in contact. Andy

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