We are delighted that after extensive research and consultation, a new Sports Ministry project is starting in the Hampton Deanery, based at St Peter & St Paul, Teddington. The Bishop of Kensington has appointed the Rev. Chris Kennedy to lead the project as a ‘Pioneer Sports Minister’. Chris has been curate at St Richard’s Hanworth for the past three years. He will move into the St Peter & St Paul Vicarage this month with his wife Hannah, and their two boys, Ethan (4) and Joshua (1).

Chris says: "It is an incredible blessing and privilege to be called to fulfill this pioneer role. It has come about through the vision of multiple partners, and is the culmination of hard work to create a local ministry that is missional, dynamic and forward thinking.  My ministerial journey has always included sport to unite, inspire and develop people, so they achieve more than they thought possible, finding God using the gift of their bodies.

"As a physiotherapist before becoming a priest I saw the potential, and challenge our bodies can offer. Indeed, in lockdown, the blessing of exercising has again accentuated the importance of fitness and wellbeing in helping us overcome challenging circumstances. Hence my excitement for this new role to use the power of sport and activity to be a blessing to Christians and non-Christians alike; to create church out of mission and to use gifts God has given to bless Him, ourselves and those around us, be that to play a game of cricket or simply walk a dog.

"This ministry will welcome all, whatever age and talent to join in and find Christ though activity, to activate our incarnate spirituality to be a blessing as we have been blessed. We will work with people of all denominations to release them to find hope, faith and love through engaging in activity and wellbeing. My own sporting background stretches from playing cricket in the Vatican and rugby in prison, and completing an Ironman triathlon.

"I pioneered an Interfaith cricket program in Feltham Young Offenders Unit, using psychology and ethics to rehabilitate young offenders. My heart is with the marginalized with whom we will be working hard to show all Christ’s restorative love and grace, engaging in a wide range of sports and activities to stimulate and encourage as many people as possible.  The family and I look forward to seeing you in Teddington soon. God bless you and peace be with you."

Chris is searching for an Operations Manager to support him and the role profile is here. Candidates should email their application letter and CV to Chris at kennes777@yahoo.co.uk.