1.5 Soccer and the Church
The relationship between the established church and football is a long and interesting one. Looking at the global popularity of football today and everything that goes along with it, it is very difficult to imagine the church having had anything much to do with the creation of the modern game but the reality, particularly in England, is very different.
The attached PDF takes a brief look at the influence of the church, and in particular a visionary woman within the church, on the formation of one of the biggest and most powerful clubs in world football - Manchester City. As will become apparent, it was through a clear vision of the power of football to change lives in a positive way that the club came into existence and although the present incarnation of Manchester City may be a world away from it's humble origins it is always worth remembering that even the mightiest oak tree grows from a single acorn.
The purpose of providing this information is not to say that you should go out and form a football club, although perhaps where you live that may be a viable idea and could be something worthwhile in doing. What we are trying to say is that by looking at the needs in our own community we can identify gaps where we can serve others through the medium of football. For example, it may be the case that we form a club or run training sessions as a way of diverting young people out of dangerous or unhelpful habits. We may feel that having a summer camp would be a good use of children's time during the school holidays. There are many, many ways in which we can reach out and serve those around us and as we work through this course we will look at different case studies of how this is possible.
As we go through the other modules we will be looking at other clubs whose origins can be found within the church but if you would like more detailed information on this topic we would highly recommend the book by Peter Lupson entitled 'Thank God for Football' and also the accompanying TV series of the same name.