Armed with some material from Engage 2015, the thought that we could showcase games on the fabulous large screen at church and our collective love of rugby prompted Graeme, Derek and I to come up with the idea of using the World Cup as a way of bringing new people through the doors of our church to watch sport. Engage 2015 was a cross-denominational campaign set up to help UK churches engage in mission around the Rugby World Cup 2015.
We put on two events – one on the Saturday of the Quarter Finals which was a real sports fest with two games shown (Wales v South Africa and New Zealand v France). Phil Batten and his colleague Rita put on a superb Mexican meal for us in between the two games, we showed some video material on Christians in sport, and Graeme gave a great talk reflecting on how sport mirrors life. Over 50 people joined us throughout the afternoon and evening including non-Christians, old friends and church members. Sadly none of the home nations progressed beyond the quarter finals days although Scotland came the closest!
The Final followed two weeks later – this was our second event when Rosemary Anderson and Ruth Smith prepared a tasty lunch for us, we did a quiz, showed another video and Graeme spoke to us on “Finals”. Just before 4pm, about 20 of us watched the Haka before enjoying a great game of rugby during which, despite a valiant recovery by Australia in the second half, New Zealand powered through to take the Webb Ellis trophy.
As another way of bringing non-Christians into church and talking to them about Jesus we felt that the two events were a success albeit in a small way but something which we might build on in the future – The European Championships next year maybe?
Thanks to all people who helped on the two days.
Member of the Trustees
Bridgnorth Baptist Church