Engage 2015



We love hearing stories about how churches around the UK have taken the Rugby World Cup and the Engage 2015 resources and used them in so many ways to further the kingdom! Stories have an incredible power to encourage and motivate others, and for that reason we’re excited to have received so many! Below are just a selection of stories we have received and excited to share with you! #shareyourstory

Date: 31st Oct 2015
Host: Churches Together
Location: Barnstaple

We hosted a light party in the afternoon for churches across the area and then showed the match on a big screen. We hosted the event in one church, but it was organised by people from 6 different churches on behalf of the churches together in Barnstaple. We also showed the Game of Life primary school assembly in 2 different schools.

In addition to what we did, other Barnstaple churches ran church events as well in order to reach out to the local community as we celebrated the Rugby World Cup Final.

Date: 29th Oct 2015
Host: Bunyan Baptist Church
Location: Stevenage

We ran a tag rugby event for families from our community at the local park followed by hot dogs and tomato soup at the church.

All the children enjoyed the games – we set up two pitches one for 4 – 7yrs and one for 8 – 11yrs. We were very fortunate that parents who were Stevenage Rugby Club coaches for under 7 tag rugby were present and allowed us to use their equipment.

A parent commented how great it was that her local church was engaging with the community and putting on an event that all the family could enjoy.

It was good to share about ”being on God’s team” and to hear international rugby players’ testimonies on the Game of Life DVD as well as having Jesus as your captain.

Link to image of the tournament: 20151029_1348551.jpg

Date: 22nd Oct 2015
Host: Penclawdd RFC / Salvation Army
Location: Swansea

The Salvation Army hosted The Rugby Quiz at Penclawddd RFC where one of our members plays for the first team. We held it upstairs in the clubhouse after the first team training session. There were 18 from the club and 17 from local Salvation Army churches.

There was a great atmosphere throughout the night and they loved all the rounds of the quiz itself. During half-time we showed the video “Two Sides of Sport” during which most were engaged, especially when Garin Jenkins came on (being in Wales).

It turns out that we had professional rugby player Sam Davies for the Ospreys there in one of the teams, but despite his status he wasn’t part of the winning team that had an impressive score of 61!

Date: 21st Oct 2015
Host: Hamilton Road Baptist & Hamilton Road Presbyterian
Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland

Rugby tends to bring people together, and the RWC brought two churches together in Bangor, NI. The churches hosted an evening with Pete Browne & Paul Marshall (Ulster Rugby), with Rico Tice bringing things to a conclusion with an evangelistic message.

We were thrilled that between 325-350 people came to the event, with many of those being guests invited by church members.

With the results left to God, we are delighted that 13 guests have signed up for a follow up 321 course, and 18 have requested a book explaining a little bit more about the Christian faith.

We’ll now show the semi final and final on the big screen in the church, although sadly Ireland won’t be there!

Link to image of the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHsknE1i31

Date: 10th Oct 2015
Host: Churches in Brent
Location: Brent, London

In Brent we had some wonderful family festivals, gospel cafes and outdoor evangelistic activities during the summer and early months of 2015.

One great event was a men’s rugby dinner on October 10th at the Blue Check Restaurant in Wembley. The event featured guest speaker Simon Smith, formerly of Wasps and England. It was a fantastic event to which men brought their friends. Many were non-Christians and people who did not attend church. The response was great, and many received bibles for the first time and made enquiries about Jesus!

This served as introduction to other Rugby World Cup activities planned for half term. There will be a team coming from engage and YWAM from the 24th October and they will be doing sports workshops with rugby for the family.

Date: 8th Oct 2015
Host: St. Mary’s Church
Location: Wirral

Hosted by Wolf Mellors, the former chaplain to Sale Sharks Rugby, we showed the film Invictus. There was a general invitation to the area and leaflets given to members of the church to invite friends and family.

During the events when South African member of the church spoke about the events when South Africa won the RWC and how Mandela united the nation through sport. He also spoke about his faith and how he was involved in the townships. You can listen to the talk here:

Date: 6th Oct 2015
Host: Cafe Church @ Bluewater
Location: Dartford

Over 30 people gathered for our cafe church event in Costa Coffee in Bluewater. We considered what the rugby core values could teach us about life and used part of several of the players’ testimonies from the website and DVD. The quiz resources, and the table talk questions were also useful as worked to keep the evening lively and interactive.

The Story of Rugby DVD was a good way to end the evening. Not everyone who was there was a Christian so we pray that the Christian message touched them in some way.

Date: 4th Oct 2015
Host: St Mary’s Worton Road
Location: Isleworth

We had a rugby-themed launch for our new afternoon monthly kids’ service called “Flightpath”. About 14 kids came aged between 9 and 12. We watched the Dan Leo testimony and had a discussion, learned about Jesus, and played lots of games. It was a good time and something we want to build on in the months ahead.

Date: 3rd Oct 2015
Host: St Swithins
Location: Bath

The church hosted the live screening of the England v. Australia match on 3rd October. The venue for the event was at the Gateway Centre where the church employs the youth worker/centre manager. The building is run as a community centre. 20 people attended, 18 adults and children from the church family and two guests. People brought their own drinks, as the centre isn’t licenced. Before kick off we showed the interviews with Billy V. and Dan Leo. During half time we showed the interview with Paul Marshall. Then as people left we handed out Game of Life Luke and Acts.

Date: 3rd Oct 2015
Host: Grace Church
Location: Brockley, London

16 people came to our event including four non-Christians. We held the event in the Brockley Social Club which is a traditional working-man’s social club. We had the England vs Australia game on a TV and we put out snacks and “World Cup Glory” tracts on the tables. People bought drinks at the bar. A good atmosphere developed as the kids played pool and the adults shared a bit of banter, there was one Australian there. It was a low-key, relationship building event as we had planned. I think we would have liked a few more people there but we are trusting God that He is drawing the people to Himself that He intends. We are praying for wisdom regarding future events, particularly their location.

Date: 3rd Oct 2015
Host: Local Engage Action Group
Location: Milton Keynes

A Rugby Filled Breakfast’ was held at a local garden centre in Bletchley. There were 60 guests, and the morning went really well. The breakfast was good quality, and plenty of it! We also had a special guest in professional ‘football’ freestyler, Daniel Cutting (www.danielcutting.com) who briefly spoke about a video he had recorded with Lawrence Dallaglio (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEcsGC72TpA)

Our main speaker was David Chawner who shared stories and experiences from his time as chaplain to the England team at the World Cup in 2011. He showed clips from The Game of Life DVD. The people who came really seemed to enjoy the event, and overall there was some encouraging feedback.

Date: 27th Sept 2015
Host: Everyday Church
Location: Wimbledon, London

We have just held our fifth annual Touch Rugby tournament (under the new name of Cross Touch). The tournament was attended by 70+ players with a further 50+ coming to the BBQ/RWC screenings we did afterwards – half the guests weren’t regular church people.

We screened the ‘International players interview’ section of the Game of Life DVD and found it to be an amazingly helpful resource giving real/practical examples of Jesus at work in the lives of familiar rugby faces. We had great feedback and some of the Christians who attended said that it gave them great things to chat to their teams/mates about. Thanks for producing it!

Date: 27th Sept 2015
Host: The Gospel Truth Church,
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire

We have been having great evenings hosting rugby events each Saturday in a private house with people from Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge. There is roughly 70% Christians, really good fellowship, food and fun enjoyed by all.

Date: 27th Sept 2015
Host: St Mary with St Alban
Location: Teddington, Richmond Upon Thames

Our church is very much at the heart of the community in Teddington, as it has been for over 500 years. We wanted to emphasise that by drawing the whole of the town together to celebrate such a major sporting event as the RWC, being right on our doorstep. We held a wonderful free fete on a glorious early Autumn Sunday afternoon.

The atmosphere was lively but relaxed and markedly different from the usual fetes. With no pester power at play, hundreds of families came and stayed for hours, happily chatting and joining in. No one could over the idea that the church would give such a gift for free. Food, drinks, games, activities, ponies, bouncy castles, live screening of matches and the usual community games were on offer, culminating in a huge tug of war bringing everyone together to pull or cheer. Feedback has been tremendous from all quarters.

All the very very many volunteers involved felt very much that they were demonstrating God’s love directly to their neighbours in this wonderful celebration and this is definitely an experience which we would all seek to repeat.

View the video here: https://vimeo.com/142079906

Date: 26th Sept 2015
Host: Exodus, a Disciple Making Youth Ministry
Location: Coleraine, Northern Ireland

I have been involved in Exodus for four years now, firstly as a volunteer and then, since August 2014, in the full time role of Youth Ministry Developer. One of the things I noticed right away and began to pray for was the lack of young men in our mission teams and volunteering around the venue. It broke my heart. As I began to seek God’s guidance to how to go about it, more and more ideas would come flooding to my mind. Gradually we have tried them and slowly but surely we are seeing the fruit of God’s work. Our summer mission teams have gone from 25% of team members being male to 36% within a year. But we want more. I wanna see that more to a 50-50 split and see young men step up to be the Godly men that God has created them to be. So during the summer I was praying about how we could use the RWC as an outreach, I was looking at the website of Christian Vision for Men, an organisation that I have worked alongside in and have learned a lot from, and I saw the link to your pack. It looked fantastic and I want to commend you on some great work. I knew right away it was what we needed. So we have been showing the matches and using the video testimonies of the players.

On Saturday night, we put on a free community BBQ to encourage our young people to get out into the community and get talking to people and invite them in. We showed the England vs Wales match after (sorry but as Irish men we were supporting our Celtic brothers). It was a fantastic. We used the evangelistic talk by Rico Tice and we are praying God will use this to speak to the non-believers there. And there were some, including a man that lives down the street that has a gambling addiction, lives in conditions that no-one in our country should and was obviously stark raving hungry. He didn’t get fed just physically, but spiritually praise God. Also, for the first time in my time at Exodus, the guys outnumbered the girls on a Saturday night. Please don’t think I am some sort of male egocentric that is pushing an all male club. I am just rejoicing that God is using your resources and our prayers to see a generation of young men in Coleraine live up to their calling to be bold followers of Jesus and become lifelong disciple makers.

Date: 26th Sept 2015
Host: St. Andrew’s Church
Location: Leyland, England

We had a Tag Rugby Tournament. The teams were mostly made up of members of our congregation with them also inviting friends to participate. We then played a round robin tournament and plugged a screening of the England Wales game which was later. We also promoted an event with a Christian Rugby League player which in November.

Date: 19 September 2015
Host: Richmond Street Pastors
Location: Richmond Upon Thames

At the request of the local police the Richmond Street Pastors have two teams on the duty for every Rugby World Cup game played at Twickenham. The Richmond team operates out of the basement of the police station and in Twickenham the Street Pastor bus is parked outside Waitrose and becomes a safe space. The safe space receives visitors for conversations, prayer and sweets as spectators’ head through the town. Inside the safe space the Game of Life DVD has been showing.  Gary Flynn the Richmond Street Pastor co-ordinator says “Had a couple of people surprised that these ex rugby stars had given their lives to Jesus and had some lads in asking about God, so all good!”

The street pastors also have the Game of Life Bible’s on hand to offer to people wanting to know more about Jesus.

Date: 15th Sept 2015
Host: Stowe School
Location: Buckingham

It is so exciting to see that all over the country people are using the Game of Life pack as a resource to communicate the gospel. One of the most creative ways it is being used is by Stowe School who bought the pack and have placed the resources on the school’s intranet for the staff to use as a teaching resource.

Says Reverend Sue Sampson, Assistant Chaplain “I used a testimony last week in chapel for 800 students – it was very well received. It is great and I will use it again even outside of the world cup.”