The Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham (with some events being held in Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Warwick) from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August 2022 inclusive. Preparations for the Games have been going on for several years – and have continued through the Covid-19 related disruptions of the last year.
Alongside those working on accommodation, transport, venues and security, a group of midlands Christian leaders has been meeting for the last 18 months to collaborate concerning Christian input into the international gathering. The group, which is co-chaired by Bishops Mike Royal (Apostolic Pastoral Congress) and David Urquhart (The Church of England’s Birmingham Diocese), represents Churches, networks and areas of expertise from around the midlands – and further afield. Planning Group members include John Cook (Dudley), Kevin Davis (Walsall) and Robert Mountford (Ecumenical Mission Officer).
The Commonwealth Games Churches’ Planning Group is working through subcommittees to address the following issues:
+ Chaplaincy (including Athletes Village Chaplaincy, Games Chaplaincy and Mission Sports Chaplaincy)
+ Church Engagement and Legacy (looking for a legacy of greater inter-Church communication and cooperation around the Commonwealth Games – and beyond)
+ Wellbeing and health (including mental health)
+ Young people and apprenticeships
+ Human trafficking (supporting the police as they tackle the rise in human trafficking which follows major sports competitions around the world)
+ Windrush (addressing issues of racial inequality and injustice)
The Commonwealth Games Churches’ Planning Group is now seeking committed Christians who would be interested in volunteering as Sports Chaplains at the Games in August 2022. The Planning group aims to serve everyone involved in the Games, whether event staff, spectators or athletes. This can only be achieved in partnership with committed people who are keen to show compassion and to lend a listening ear to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
Sports Chaplaincy UK is running two free online Taster Sessions to give potential volunteers a flavour of what would be involved. The sessions will take place between 1.00pm and 2.00pm on Monday 15 March and between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday 16 March 2021.
For those who wish to volunteer as a Chaplain, applications, interviews and mandatory training will be delivered by Sports Chaplaincy UK. In addition to preparing people to serve as Chaplains at the Commonwealth Games, the training will enable volunteers to take on Sports Chaplaincy at local clubs, Police Chaplaincy in conjunction with West Midlands Police, or Community Chaplaincy serving wider society.
For more information about volunteering to be a Chaplain, or to register your attendance at one of the free Taster Sessions, click HERE, or phone 0800 181 4051 between 9.00am and 5.00pm from Monday to Friday inclusive.