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In the excitement of a rugby match it’s all too easy to forget that the guys making the crunching tackles and exhilarating breaks are not superhuman. Truth is they are subject to the same personal stresses as the rest of us, even more so during a competition such as the World Cup with a prolonged absence from home.

This is where the chaplain comes in providing an independent and confidential listening ear.

Four years ago in New Zealand there were many instances of players, coaches and support staff who found the presence of a chaplain a source of help and comfort.

But chaplains are not just about practical needs. Rugby players are spiritual beings too.

A large percentage of those you watch during RWC 2015 will have an active faith as followers of Jesus Christ.  As well as individual believers there are whole squads who have regular Bible study and fellowship times.  In 2011 chaplains were invited to lead these sessions and in some cases organise services for the squad as well as supporting individuals in their faith.

And it didn’t stop there. The chaplains’ care extended to visiting fans.  One chaplain supported a visiting fan who suffered a stroke and organised accommodation through the local church for the man’s family who flew out to New Zealand.

So enjoy watching the games, but don’t forget those offering that essential personal support. They’re part of the tournament too.

David ChawnerDavid Chawner, Engage2015








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