What happens when a church gets sporty?

Date posted: 30/12/16

Stockton church feature


I wonder what’s the first thing on your list when you move to a new place and join a new church? For Jo Murnane (pictured above, far right), it was to quickly combine her passions of sport and faith.

She said: “I was challenged to think that if there is nothing going on in Stockton in terms of reaching sportspeople with the gospel, this doesn’t have to be the case!”

As a keen rower and netballer, Jo clearly loves her sport and she is determined to share her faith in the world God has placed her in. Now studying medicine at Newcastle University, that world is Stockton-on-Tees, where she is spending the first two years of her degree.

Having previously been involved with reaching sportspeople at Jesmond Parish Church in Newcastle, Jo is now looking to get the ball rolling at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle.

She said: “Sport is such a big part of my life and these are the people I meet and interact with. I’m just aware that this is a whole world of people who don’t know Jesus.”

Stockton church feature

Jo, who previously studied French and German, is now looking to mobilise fellow sportspeople in her church and across Stockton. Having sparked interest about Christians in Sport in her home group, she learned there was also a football coach and a PE teacher in the church family. Jo then met with her pastor Andrew Waugh.

She said: “I had organised a Dialogue Dinner for my teammates where Debbie Flood spoke and so I was able to explain the vision of Christians in Sport to Andrew through what was happening in my team. They were really interested in the gospel, which I am very thankful for.”

Andrew backed Jo’s plan and is giving her a slot at church in mid-January where she will show the ‘Let’s go’ video and encourage members to meet up, pray and and think about reaching sportspeople in their part of the country.

Could you start a Christians in Sport group at your church? Contact





Ed Mezzetti

Ed Mezzetti, City of York Athletic Club
Ed runs for City of York Athletic Club and is Digital Content Manager for Christians in Sport. He is a member of St Thomas' Church, York