LCFC Chaplain Focus Continues….

In the third article in the series which looks at the work of LCFC Club Chaplain, Bruce Nadin, we ask him about his time commitments and his views on Sunday football.

How much of your time does the post of club Chaplain take up? 

Excluding match days, it is very roughly up to ten hours per week in the season.  Friday is my main actual day of attendance.  For the first two hours of the day I will be at the stadium visiting the offices and chatting to the staff. After that I will go to the training ground where I arrive just before the players come off the pitch.  I will then go to the physiotherapy room and speak with the injured players.  The remainder of the day will be spent at the training ground undertaking my duties as well as basically ‘building bridges’ and making myself available to anyone who might want to chat. 

In addition to this, as well as attending first team games, I also attend the home reserve and academy games as much as possible.  Attendance at the academy games is something that is really appreciated by both the lads and the parents alike…..

Does it take much time away from duties for your own Church? 

As a rough estimate I probably work around sixty hours per week anyway so ‘time’ as such isn’t an issue.   It doesn’t take time away as we have adjusted for it.  The way my home Church is organised means everybody is encouraged to play their part. We believe that everyone matters, everyone can make a contribution and that God has of course got a plan for everybody’s life.  Everybody can make a difference, and with this in mind I don’t lead everything in the Church, I just lead a team of volunteers who try to undertake Gods work.  

Are all of your own Church members supportive or do some not agree? 

Prior to actually taking up my appointment we as a Church looked at if it would be possible to release me for ten hours per week to allow me to undertake the role. This was basically achieved by slightly reducing some of my pastoral duties relating to my own Church.  The Church voted on whether I should take up the club chaplain role and it was a unanimous vote in favour, so yes they are 100% supportive and pray for the role I undertake.  

What is your view of football being played on Sundays?

As a follower of Jesus, Sunday is an important day for the worldwide Christian family and me. It’s the day we celebrate together all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ, and provides a common time when we can meet together as God’s people to be challenged to apply the teaching of Jesus to our daily lives. As a result Sunday mornings in particular are set-aside for this purpose. 

Our society has changed enormously in recent years. We live in a 24/7 culture and Sunday is now no different from any other day. I’m not sure that, that is necessarily healthy. There are clear advantages to a commonly held day of rest to society. The lack of opportunity for real rest is undoubtedly one of the contributory factors to the increase in stress, depression, and self-harming in our society. We are just not made to live without a regular opportunity to recharge the batteries physically, emotionally and spiritually. Putting time side to be with God and God’s people on a Sunday provides that for me.

In terms of the question, I don’t personally have a major issue with Leicester City playing on a Sunday. Like many fans I prefer football to be played at 3 p.m. on a Saturday. I certainly don’t like the fact that television has become the driver. Personally I can just about cope with a late Saturday or Sunday afternoon game, but as a season ticket holder I think television coverage does not afford sufficient notice of changes to kick off times.  Furthermore when a game is, for example, swapped to a Friday evening to allow for television coverage, I would personally like to see television compensation extend to the fans.   

As for Sunday morning Kids and Youth football, this raises important questions and challenges for the world of football. Devout Christian families (which still account for 7.5 % of the population!) will almost certainly not let their children play football on a Sunday morning for the reasons I outlined earlier. Likewise there will be days and times that are not acceptable for example, for devout Muslims. The challenge for football if it wants to be more inclusive in a multi-faith society is to be aware of these issues and to do it’s best to be more accommodating and flexible. 

I’m not saying that football has to change to accommodate us Christians. We have made our choices and can’t expect others to fit in with them. What I am saying is that if football is serious about including everyone then it has to take the practice and existence of faith in our society seriously. 

You were already a season ticket holder prior to being club Chaplain. Has the appointment changed your enjoyment of the game in any way?

The thing it has most affected is my view of players as human beings. As fans who pay a great deal of money to support the club, we tend to forget that players are human beings with feelings.  The reality of this really hits home when you see people on a weekly basis on the training ground and in the treatment room and you build relationships with them and where requested council them etc – you tend to build up a great deal of respect and loyalty towards them.  

The final article in the series will look at Bruce’s views on the sharing of wealth in football, his involvement with fans and the wider community

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