Getting ready for world cup fever...I have just bought my Panini sticker album! Encouraged by my sister - a senior legal adviser(!) - who has been collecting football stickers for the World Cup since a child, I gave in today at the paper shop. I may well be putting out pleas for particular players over the next month or so.....but let's see how I go. For every pack of stickers purchased I am going to give the equivalent to the diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman.
I bought my t-shirt at Johannesburg airport on my way back from visiting K & K just after Easter. Not sure when I will wear it - but the last world cup I did dress in an England shirt whilst leading an all-age service on a football theme, which was followed by England's first match on a large screen! I visited the diocese with the Bishop of Oxford, the Revd Canon Nick Molony and the Revd Charlotte Bannister-Parker who are both members of the diocesan link committee. It was a special trip, rekindling friendships, seeing some of the project work as well as visiting link parishes.
People are doing their best in various places to make football links with local communities, particularly as all the schools in South Africa are having extended 'World Cup' holidays. Much of the work in the Northern Cape is HIV/Aids related - using football as a way of bringing young people (particularly teenage boys) together and educating them in responsible living and teaching them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. In Vryburg we met a couple of young men eager to use their gifts to teach others through community events and playing football - I am going to be praying for them in the coming days.