Christians in Britain sometimes complain that the Church of England can be frosty to those who never go to services unless attending baptisms, weddings and funerals. One bishop aims to rectify that situation, when it comes to sporting activities. “A church building for most people is like going to Mars,” says Bishop Tony Porter, 54, of Sherwood, a key mover behind the church’s plan to appoint its first ever ambassador for sport in 2007. “We have to go where people are.”
Bishop Porter previously worked in Manchester where he was chaplain to the Premier League soccer team, Manchester City. Known also for his public broadcasting, Bishop Porter played a leading role in Christians in Sport, an organization aimed at helping players learn to be Christians on and off the field.
“I’ve met many of the leading lights in British football and so many of them want to learn more about God and Christ but don’t know how to go about it,” he said. “We Christians must be more welcoming, more active on the ground.”