National Sports Sunday 2023

The Chief Executive Officer of Sports Chaplaincy UK, Warren Evans explains how 14 May is an ecumenical opportunity for churches.

National Sports Sunday is celebrating its sixth year on 14 May, and we’re inviting churches and individuals across the UK to get involved. 

Research shows that more than 25 million people participate in a sports community each week – whether that’s parents watching children play in sports teams or the tens of thousands that flock to Premier League football games each week. That’s a huge number, all impacted by the power of sport. 

All significant spiritual movements start with prayer. So join us on National Sports Sunday to pray for the community of sports… the biggest untapped mission field in the world!

After its birth, National Sports Sunday has seen churches from all denominations and streams come together for this one day each year. Many churches even ‘pulpit swap’ across denominations and give chaplains and missional partners the opportunity to speak about our work to a different congregation. Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary of Churches Together in England, said: “It’s great to see Christians from across the church coming together to celebrate National Sports Sunday. I am delighted to add my voice to those church leaders cheering on sporting ministries challenging us to take our service with the community of sport more seriously. If you haven’t put National Sports Sunday into your church calendar, let me encourage you to do so.”

Our vision is to see how we might be able to challenge the church to see the community of sport as not merely an activity to take from but a place where relationships and, ultimately, mission and evangelism can take place. We have seen churches from all traditions taking the step to stop and pray for the community of sport in their locality, explore how they can work ecumenically to serve their gym and celebrate the ministry to the community of sport.

It looks different in every church fellowship, but the important thing is that churches take time out of their Sunday service – even if just for a few moments – to pray and ask God to help us see the community of sport in the same way that he does. 

To aid churches, we have provided a range of resources, including specially written prayers, sermons, a reflection based on the lectionary reading, a written assembly for those who have the privilege to share in schools, an all-age worship outline and several videos which you can share.

You can find all these resources on the National Sports Sunday website.

We’d love to hear what you are doing, so please email us and let us know how you mark National Sports Sunday 2023

Sports Chaplaincy UK is one of the Charities and Networks in Association with Churches Together in England.