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How Sportily came to be

Revd Tim Hastie-Smith, Diocesan Missioner for New Worshipping Communities chats about what led to the initiative that came to be Sportily. 

"Nearly four years ago, the Bishop of Gloucester's Council made the decision to fund a diocesan-wide children and youth focused sports ministry that makes God’s love known through sport and activity and seeks to establish new forms of church in 2020, a particularly brave, thoughtful and humble one.

It grew, not from the pressure of a particularly loud special interest group, but from the work and consultive reflections of the Diocesan LIFE (Leadership, Imagination, Faith, Engagement) vision, and the detailed consideration of Bishop’s Council.

Perhaps one of the most significant lessons, so far, from Sportily, is that the places where the ministry is flourishing are the places where there is the closest relationship with the local parish church and where the prevailing mood is one of openness and trust and where there is no sense of being threatened. Also striking is the openness of schools, and local councils, and health and welfare professionals to the work of Sportily. Gratitude that the Church is stepping into a space where there is enormous need."

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Tim Hastie-Smith

We've since received this email encouragement:

“A quick email to say, 'Here! Here!' to Tim’s message in this week's bulletin. I hope people read it.

Sportily has been a blessing to my benefice both because of the personnel that work in this locality and the openness towards doing things differently, creatively and with all 'people of peace'. Adam and team have been able to engage in mission and relationship building in ways that my Sunday church-goers haven't been able to and in places we've struggled to reach. So, thank you to all who developed the vision, had the courage to create it and the commitment to back it financially.

Sportily's work is definitely kingdom work!