Gillingham FC have a new chaplain, Chris Gill, who will be involved at all levels of the club to offer pastoral and spiritual support to people of all faiths and people of no faith.
Chaplaincy in professional English football has grown significantly in recent years with there now being chaplains in at least two thirds of the 92 clubs playing in the Premier and Football League.
Below is a message to Gills fans from the club's new chaplain:
My name is Chris Gill, I’m a minister from a local church in the town and I am grateful to have been recently appointed as the new chaplain at Gillingham FC.
The role of a chaplain is generally to offer pastoral and spiritual support to anyone connected with the club and this can include anything from being a listening ear to someone who needs to talk perhaps after a bereavement, or just giving an encouragement to someone who needs help perhaps dealing with a disappointment.
I grew up in Gillingham because my dad was in the armed forces and as a boy I remember seeing my first game at Priestfield in 1970. On leaving school I had a career in Kent Police which included riding motor cycles around the county, patrolling Chatham High Street as a community officer and teaching crime prevention and drugs awareness in local Medway schools.
On leaving the Police, I worked for several churches before taking over as the Pastor at King’s Church, Gillingham, in 2013. I have a wonderful multi-national congregation and we provide a variety of services to the local community including helping the long-term unemployed through a job club and an after school club for those aged 10-14.
If I can provide help, information or support to anyone connected with Gillingham FC then please feel free to contact me anytime on 07713286189 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org