National Sport and Wellbeing project

Sport and wellbeing ministry is vital for the Church of England’s mission strategy to be a Christian presence in every community.

National Sports Sunday

Sunday 15th May is National Sports Sunday.

You can find resources and ideas for projects for your church on the Sports Chaplaincy website.

Read about how a parish vicar in Barnwell used sport ministry to build new bridges between the church and the community.

Find out more about Sports Chaplaincy, sports and wellbeing projects from churches around the country and how the Church of England and football are linked, by listening to the podcasts episodes below:


group of young teenagers playing football outside


It gives us the opportunity to connect with over 60% of England’s adult population and 88% percent of children, the vast majority of whom are not in church regularly. This has a huge mission potential which necessitates a coherent and strategic approach in the Church of England at both national and diocesan level if we are to find the sweet spot of all this could contribute to a growing and outward-facing church.

The project also encourages Christians to reflect on their own participation in Sport and their own wellbeing as part of their Everyday faith. Seeking to make deeper connections between these aspects of life and becoming more confident in sharing their story of faith with the people they run, walk, swim and exercise with.

Sport England in June 2017 reported that 16 million adults in the UK are playing sport weekly in comparison to under 1 million attending Anglican churches weekly. Latest figures from their 2018/19 Active Lives Adult Survey show 28.6 million people – 63.3% of the 16+ population in England – are active.

That means they meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines and do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. 

A children's group singing in a church.

The people who are regularly active are also the groups which the Church, in general, has missionally struggled to connect with.

  • 37.5% of the UKME community are playing sport weekly
  • 55% of 16-25-year olds play weekly
  • 1.6m disabled people play sport weekly
  • 88% of children aged 5-15 play sport regularly

(Sport England)

The National Sport and Wellbeing Project is working with 8 pilot dioceses (Birmingham, Blackburn, Ely, Gloucester, Guildford, Norwich, London – Kensington Area and Rochester). The dioceses will experiment and we will learn together. A Learning Community has been established enabling learning to be shared and to contribute to creating new models of engagement that others can replicate, as well as boasting sports ministry training pathways and building new partnerships.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to initially catalyse and develop this ground-breaking project to facilitate the best possible opportunities for sport and wellbeing to become a key component of diocesan plans for mission, evangelism and church planting, and encouraging all members of churches to see involvement in sport and wellbeing as part of our calling to seek and serve God’s Kingdom in the whole of life as missionary disciples. 

A child dancing with a hula hoop.


For more information and ideas about Sport and Wellbeing Ministry visit Church Support Hub | Sport and Wellbeing.

Ridley Hall offer an award in Sports Ministry that can be undertaken in your own time and at your own pace. Find out more information here.

To learn about the Church of England's vision and strategy for the 2020s visit Vision and Strategy.


You can also contact Reverend Natalie Andrews, National Sport and Wellbeing Project Lead, in the Vision and Strategy Team, using the webform below.

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The Archbishops' Council, Church Commissioners and Church of England Pensions Board are the three main operating bodies of the Church of England. The other National Church Institutions can be found on our website.