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Chaplains at football clubs

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  • How is this pushing religion on people?

    The club choose to use Matt in this role, the club give him the title and the manager thinks its a good idea. Fail to see where the issue is?

    If a player is not interested in talking to Matt then I'm sure he leaves them well alone.

    I've known Matt for years and sat with him, his brother and @rikofold for years. Matt knew full well that I didn't attend church or have any interest in doing so and we never had a single conversation which asked me why or encouraged me to "come along on Sunday"

    If he helps one or two players out from time to time I simply don't get how people can let the situation make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Saga Lout said:

    The armed forces also have chaplains.

    That probably has something to do with mortality rates
  • barcelona have a chapple at there ground by the players tunnel and most of there players go in there
  • I would have thought being called chaplain is pushing religion but there you go.

    It depends on how and what advice is rendered.

    If this guy shoves hellfire and damantion down the throats of anyone seeking his help then it would be wrong, but if he is a non-judgmental person who listens and advises/helps then it can only help.

  • I'm happy for the club to have a Chaplain, he's someone who players can talk to in confidence, someone at the club but who has no involvement in the playing side, as I imagine players are afraid of appearing 'weak' in front of team-mates and coaching staff.
    • All club chaplains are part-time volunteers except at Bolton Wanderers, where Phil Mason works as a full-time salaried chaplain.
    If we lose to Bolton on Saturday, then that's our excuse, their chaplain is full time, ours is part time...
  • edited March 2013
    I stopped buying the programme a few season ago when in his column, the chaplain started quoting from the bible. I have enough of the freaks knocking on my door without having to read that rubbish in a football programme.
  • edited March 2013
    Oh them scary Christians indoctrinating easily duped young men with their lies and false teachings... wooooooooah!!!!

    Please, the guy is there to help and I as a Christian, practicing and flawed, can not see anything untoward with this.

    Non story.
  • Matt was in the year above me at Colfes, and always came across as a nice fella and popular with the rest of his year.

    Big Charlton fan, hence how I came into contact with him! Never struck me as the religious type either!
  • I stopped buying the programme a few season ago when in his column, the chaplain started quoting from the bible. I have enough of the freaks knocking on my door without having to read that rubbish in a football programme.

    Hope you Enjoyed your day off work today this day our lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. We all get Monday off too for this reason.

    Knock knock

  • Our Lord Jesus Christ didn't help me today. I was at work :(
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  • Stig said:

    iainment said:

    Non religious people are also often very compassionate and helpful when help and compassion are needed and no other help is at hand.

    There are two issues here, if the chaplain is pushing a religion/his religious perspective then it would be wrong on many grounds, but if he can be someone that a footballer can chat to and discuss any issues troubling him then it can only help. Anyone who has played sport - even at grass roots level will know how some people get so wound up with nerves to the point where they don't perform anywhere near their ability.

    Look at the players who have drink/drug/gambling problems, or are uprooted from their families or suffer mental knock backs as a result of niggling injuries. I know the kneejerk reaction is that they are well paid professionals and should deal with it etc etc, but clearly some players need the support that a non-judgmental ear can offer more than others. If it helps the club and allows the players to perform better than so much the better.

    For young players in particular being away from home - sometimes a long way from home can create real problems, having someone who calls the player in his identikit hotel or lodgings might just help him settle in.
    I would have thought being called chaplain is pushing religion but there you go.

    Anyone else wear a dog collar to work?
    image
    He rarely wears a dog collar when I see him
  • Make sure you go back in on Monday too.

  • Oh them scary Christians indoctrinating easily duped young men with their lies and false teachings... wooooooooah!!!!

    Please, the guy is there to help and I as a Christian, practicing and flawed, can not see anything untoward with this.

    Non story.

    Seconded. Whatever his motives, be they religious or not, so far as I can tell there doesn't seem to be anything he's done other than try to help in the way he feels best. I am sure that any player of any religious position could turn to him if they wanted his help, and he would give it.
  • I can't see why anybody has a problem with somebody is there to help people who need him. Only if they want to and at no cost to him or club. Some people really need to find something worthwhile to complain about - there are a few things!
  • Curb_It said:

    Make sure you go back in on Monday too.

    Oh i will. I will feel terribly guilty if i didn't...
  • redman said:

    I can't see why anybody has a problem with somebody is there to help people who need him. Only if they want to and at no cost to him or club. Some people really need to find something worthwhile to complain about - there are a few things!

    Oh there's loads of charlton fans sitting uncomfortably about this! They've got piles I think.

    I think it's lovely to be honest and I also hope the Muslim players in our team could also think they could talk to him.
  • My Dad knows Matt, through the Church and from what my Dad has told me Matt does a great job and is not a 'pusher' at all.

    I'm not at all religious but if it helps people and religion is not being pushed/forced onto people, I really don't see what the problem is.
  • edited March 2013
    Curb_It said:

    I stopped buying the programme a few season ago when in his column, the chaplain started quoting from the bible. I have enough of the freaks knocking on my door without having to read that rubbish in a football programme.

    Hope you Enjoyed your day off work today this day our lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. We all get Monday off too for this reason.

    Knock knock

    It is national holiday, so not only Christians should take it off. And it is YOUR lord Jesus Christ not OUR lord
  • Does this make Matt the current CL scapegoat?

    Thank the Lord* we've got a game today to focus on rather than politics, finance, dogs and now religion....

    *oh Christ** now I've done it!

    **...and again...
  • edited March 2013
    Cue the first Imam coming to a club near you...

    I think the chaplain's dog-collar outfit would make a good home shirt.
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  • From what some members have said Matt Baker has been a loyal supporter of the club for many years. As this is a free funding situation ,then by all means make it available for those that require it. These days Chaplaincy can be thought of in terms of Pastoral and Spiritual care and if Sir Chrissy Powell is comfortable with it,then so am I.
  • I stopped buying the programme a few season ago when in his column, the chaplain started quoting from the bible. I have enough of the freaks knocking on my door without having to read that rubbish in a football programme.

    Wow - and you didn't see the option of just avoiding that column? Think this might be your problem rather than his.
  • Curb_It said:

    redman said:

    I can't see why anybody has a problem with somebody is there to help people who need him. Only if they want to and at no cost to him or club. Some people really need to find something worthwhile to complain about - there are a few things!

    Oh there's loads of charlton fans sitting uncomfortably about this! They've got piles I think.

    I think it's lovely to be honest and I also hope the Muslim players in our team could also think they could talk to him.
    It's absolutely the case that Matt and his colleagues are available to all players and do have conversations with people of all faiths and none.

    What's interesting is that a Muslim association are trying to set up a chaplaincy scheme but aimed only at the Muslim players. This is where I think it misses the point. If someone needs religious support then that's already available in churches, mosques, synagogues etc. Matt's organisation isn't about religion, although it's a Christian organisation - it's about providing a level of pastoral care that the clubs do not and, frankly, will not provide. And they do so on a charitable basis. Should be applauded to my mind.
  • Good post Rikofold
  • rikofold said:

    Not going to get into the moral argument, but the fact is that these guys are in many many football clubs, and rugby clubs, and at the races etc. and there's a very good reason for that: they do good there. You may have your own views on whether religion and football should mix, but they're pretty irrelevant because that's not what's happening. Did you guys even read the article?

    "Chris Powell, the manager of Charlton Athletic, says that his chaplain is the heartbeat of his npower Championship club and he would not want to manage without one. 'Why not have someone who will help the club grow, help players individually, be part of the support network?' he says. 'Someone who has a well-rounded view on life is a vital part, the heartbeat of the club for me.' "

    They do what they do because they care about the well-being of people in what can be very strange worlds, and they provide something that no-one else provides. In many cases that's simply an ear, empathy, an opportunity to talk things through, an opportunity to vent. Chaplains are not injecting morality or religion into football, they're simply acting on their faith, and the few I've met have all been remarkably grounded and down to earth to boot. They're not proselytising, they're making themselves available to people.

    Matt Baker's involvement at the club goes further than that, incidentally. He's been our chaplain for what, 13, 14 years now? He's Charlton Club chairman, involved in the Community work, and leads many a funeral of Charlton supporters we've lost. And he's a season ticket holder at the club since the 80s, including going to Selhurst.

    It's easy to stand at a distance and criticise on some spurious anti-religion grounds, but most pro football clubs have a chaplain because they are beneficial to their club. Tottenham are a remarkable exception and, I understand, is a position they've taken since Glenn Hoddle and his weird views on religion reigned at the lane.

    And whilst the Premier and Football Leagues put some money in, the clubs don't generally pay a penny for their Chaplain's time or expenses. Seems like a no-lose situation to me.

    This, emphatically. Very well said.
  • Stig said:

    Not a believer myself, but it is ignorant to condemn it. When I've met him he's seemed a good man and certainly not the type that would push his beliefs on others. No harm in offering young players a decent moral grounding. What would people prefer? TOWIE, cash and alcohol?

    Why is it any more ignorant to condemn it than to support it? And why do we need some form a chaplaincy to give players a decent moral grounding? And whose morals anyway? Why do people think that the church has anything in the slightest to do with "decent morality"?

    I have no reason to think that Matt Baker is not a decent human being. He may well be a very good person to have around the club, but that doesn't mean that there's a role for a chaplain as such. If he's good on his own terms, let him be some sort of mentor or counsellor, but that should be because he's got the right skills not because he's got invisible friends in high places.


    I don't think that it is necessary to condemn anything Stig. As long as he is not foisting his views on others why would it be a problem is some folk find comfort from it. If it assists a couple of highly paid young lads in their development why worry about it? Why is it necessary to assume that there is not other programmes and ways that other people can develop their moral centre. By definition "condemning" without any real understanding, is ignorance. I say this as a dyed in the wool aethiest.
  • These "chaplains" seem to be more like therapists to me.
  • Charlton Athletic was one of the first clubs out of the 92 to appoint a club chaplain and it goes back afew more years than this guy.Even got his own website which i bet you have looked at ,His name is Steve Bridge the guy that also took the photos of Charlton,Late 1980s he was chaplain.
  • rikofold said:

    I stopped buying the programme a few season ago when in his column, the chaplain started quoting from the bible. I have enough of the freaks knocking on my door without having to read that rubbish in a football programme.

    Wow - and you didn't see the option of just avoiding that column? Think this might be your problem rather than his.
    I think you are being disingenuous here. So if someone said to you they don't buy the Sun newspaper because they are offended by pictures of naked women would your reply be 'Wow - why don't you just avoid page 3 - I think you might have a problem'?

    I think you and others on your side of the debate are missing the point. No one is saying anything negative about Matt Baker. Some people are expressing unease that a christian minister is considered to be the 'heartbeat' of the club. If that really is the case and my son was the best 12 year old prospect in the country I would have big reservations about letting him sign for Charlton.

    Also, are you, and other people on your side of the debate, saying that those of us that have expressed reservations and unease about this christian ethos at the club have no right to do so and have a 'problem' if we do? I was expecting people to defend the merits of having a Chaplain at the club (as some have done) but not the right to raise the issue!







  • rikofold said:

    I stopped buying the programme a few season ago when in his column, the chaplain started quoting from the bible. I have enough of the freaks knocking on my door without having to read that rubbish in a football programme.

    Wow - and you didn't see the option of just avoiding that column? Think this might be your problem rather than his.
    I think you are being disingenuous here. So if someone said to you they don't buy the Sun newspaper because they are offended by pictures of naked women would your reply be 'Wow - why don't you just avoid page 3 - I think you might have a problem'?

    I think you and others on your side of the debate are missing the point. No one is saying anything negative about Matt Baker. Some people are expressing unease that a christian minister is considered to be the 'heartbeat' of the club. If that really is the case and my son was the best 12 year old prospect in the country I would have big reservations about letting him sign for Charlton.

    Also, are you, and other people on your side of the debate, saying that those of us that have expressed reservations and unease about this christian ethos at the club have no right to do so and have a 'problem' if we do? I was expecting people to defend the merits of having a Chaplain at the club (as some have done) but not the right to raise the issue!







    I think most of the comment here has been along the lines of "I can't see what all the fuss is about" TBH Red
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