FA celebrates how Christianity plays with the beautiful game

RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – This Sunday, the Football Association is celebrating the contribution of Christians to the beautiful game.

It is part of the FA’s Faith and Football series, where events are put on in stadiums to celebrate the way faith traditions are part of the sport — for players, supporters and staff.

This year at Wembley stadium, the FA has celebrated Ramadan, with an open itfar meal, and a ceremony with hymns, prayers and lights for Vaisakhi.

This weekend’s Christian celebration is taking place in the Bobby Moore suite at Wembley from 2pm to 5pm.

The compere is Adrian Chiles, the broadcaster who converted to Catholicism just before he was 40 years old, and he has written about the peace that came with his new faith.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster — and a Liverpool fan — will lend his support and a service at the pitch side will be led by Libby Lane, the Bishop of Derby and the Church of England’s designated bishop for sport.

The afternoon including panel discussions and keynote speeches has been put together by Dal Darroch, FA head of diversity and inclusion, and Michael Wakelin, former head of religion and ethics at the BBC and now executive chair of the Religion Media Centre.

A panel will discuss the challenges of practising the Christian faith in football and whether they feel they should hide it or proclaim it.

The event is supported by Christians in Sport, Sports Chaplaincy UK, the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, Evangelical Alliance, the Baptist Church, the United Reformed Church, Salvation Army, and Premier Radio.

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