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WePRAY - May 2021

Before we begin, I’d like to make a bit of an apology. This month, I’m going to use a footballing analogy as part of the wePRAY. I recognise that many of you will not be football fans! You’re either going to give up the will to keep reading or graciously continue hoping that there is a point. Some of you will wonder why I didn’t simply start again or choose a more accessible or widely engaging metaphor… sadly (for you) I’m nothing if not stubborn!!

Here we go…

There are several undeniable truths in football. The team you support are the greatest, footballers are often overpaid, you really don’t like your biggest rivals, and everyone gets really frustrated when players roll around on the ground because someone’s had the temerity to tackle them, or cause them to have a hair out of place! The other undeniable truth is that football managers leave football clubs. This happens for one of two main reasons.

Firstly, the chairperson decides that due to results, precarious league position, style of play or myriad other reasons, the boss (manager) has to go. This is often followed by key members of their backroom staff (coaches, physio’s and analysts). A few days later, a new person is appointed with lots of fanfare and celebration, promising to change the fortunes of the club and bring glory to the fans. Throughout this turmoil a small group remain the same.

The players. For some, there will be sadness at the departure of the former manager, who’d given them chances to play and grow their skills and talents. For others, there will be relief that they will be given another chance to impress and get fresh opportunities, because for whatever reason the departing manager didn’t rate them or want to include them in their plans.

Still with me?

The other reason a manager might leave, is that they have been offered an opportunity elsewhere. This is often at a bigger club, where there are different challenges and opportunities. This new club has recognised the skills and talents of the manager and decided that they’d be a good fit for them. Often these managers go with a mix of sadness (from fans and players alike) and excitement about what they could achieve.

Phew! Got to the end of the metaphor… but what does it mean?

At the end of this month, we’ll be saying goodbye to east to west’s manager! There will be no cheering and celebration that Ant has been sacked (he hasn’t!), he has done an amazing job over the past 6 years in terms of the way we work and operate (play). People have grown in skills and talents and all have been given opportunities. As a team we are sad that this is happening, but excited for what Ant’s going to bring to his new (bigger) team at Urban Saints. However, we’re also fully trusting in God’s (Chairman) ongoing provision and that the person He’s called to lead east to west into the future will be perfect for us.

So, as I wrap up this metaphor (thank goodness you may think!) We’d like to say a massive thank you to our manager for all he’s done and how he’s led us forward and wish him nothing but the best leading Urban Saints into the future.

Right, I’m taking my ball and going home now!!

This month we’ll be praying for Ant as he heads to Urban Saints. Please note, this photo isn’t Ant celebrating leaving east to west! It’s simply emphasising my point!!

You’ll find his prayer requests below:

For east to west…

  • Thanks to God for our amazing Team who are compassionate, selfless, and devoted in their support for the children, young people, and families they work alongside.

  • Pray with thanks for the Trustees and their commitment in leading and holding the responsibility of east to west’s direction, especially as they are volunteers and have given up so much time recently with the recruiting of a new CEO.

  • Thanks to God for David Welch accepting the invitation to become the next CEO and lead east to west into the future.

For my family…

  • Please give thanks that Oli has been able to return to University to complete his 1st year and that his plans have come together for his 2nd year accommodation. Also, that Harry and Zach have settled back into ‘in person’ youth groups and school and that they have been able to reconnect with their friends and peers.

  • Thanks to God for his sustaining love and energy for Rachel in her work as a full-time teacher and the demands and stresses that teaching young children during the year has had.

  • Thanks to God that even though I have a sense of sadness in leaving the east to west Team, I also feel excited and have a sense of peace about the next step into Urban Saints.


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