The Evo-Stik League Southern

Chaplaincy & Welfare at Aylesbury United

Martyn Shaw

Aylesbury United football Club is committed to providing a confidential chaplaincy and welfare service to anyone involved with the club. Historically the Ducks have always had a chaplain, until the early 2000's, when there was an eight year gap, ended when chairman, Graham Read, decided to reinstate the office and approached Martyn Shaw, who was serving on the club's committee and coaching with the youth and reserve teams.

Fundamentally, the role of a sports chaplain is to offer pastoral and spiritual support wherever appropriate; to staff, coaches, players and fans. For each sporting organisation, the chaplain can be a valuable independent listening ear, helping its members through the challenges of life. This confidential support helps athletes of all faiths and beliefs to share concerns or personal issues that they may not be willing to express to their coaches.

Chaplaincy in professional English football has grown significantly in recent years with there now being chaplains at two thirds of the ninety-two clubs playing in the Premier and Football League, and an increasing number of non-league clubs appointing chaplains as well.

Chaplains are involved at all levels of their club offering pastoral and spiritual support to people of all faiths and people of no faith. This involves visiting the football club on a weekly basis and being available beyond that when times of crisis arise or individuals need ongoing support. On the playing side this may mean supporting a player with a long term injury or helping a young player cope with the disappointment of being released by the club. For all staff it may include listening to and caring for a member of staff who has recently been bereaved, supporting individuals through a redundancy process or scattering the ashes of a fan at the stadium.

As well as the pastoral nature of a chaplain's role the spiritual aspect is being embraced by football more and more. Particularly on the playing side managers and coaches are seeing that this dimension is important for players and the chaplain is able to help in this, whatever the faith of the player.

"Chaplains can be of help to all sorts of people involved with sport, when crisis, need, or difficulty comes. I commend the idea of sports chaplaincy and the work of Sports Chaplaincy UK to you." Sir Alex Ferguson, CBE, Manager, Manchester United.

Aylesbury United Club Chaplain & Welfare Officer, Martyn Shaw, is a qualified Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor, a qualified, ordained Christian Minister, and a qualified FA Coach. He is the fourth generation of his family to be involved with Aylesbury United, a member of Sports Chaplaincy UK & the Association of Christian Counsellors.

Martyn Shaw
For further details, contact:

Rev Martyn Shaw
01296 397856 - 07763 476140
chaplain@aylesburyunitedfc.co.uk