United with the Daily Telegraph

By Jonathan Bartley
April 8, 2009

It isn't often that the Daily Telegraph and Ekklesia find themselves singing from the same hymn sheet let alone the same terraces. But there was a testament to the healing power of football today, with a rare moment of agreement between Ekklesia and the Daily Telegraph. George Pitcher the paper's Religion Editor has joined our calls for the Church to lay off Sunday football fans' here.

The unusual but welcome new accord follows a broadside by some church leaders who urged that there should be no football on Easter Day. We ran a couple of comment pieces on it yesterday at the Guardian's Comment is Free and my collegue Simon Barrow did a piece on the Ekklesia site here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/9170

Simon has declared his allegience to Dumbarton in his piece, so I should also come clean that I am a Nottingham Forest fan. (I have only made about 5 games this season sadly and we are battling relegation once more!). I've no idea what team George Pitcher supports, but note that the new Archbishop of Westminster is a Liverpool fan, which makes me wonder (mischeviously) if there is a relationship between churchmen who support big, wealthy, privileged Premiership clubs, and their apparent desire to use their own privilege and size to control and make others to conform? (I wonder too if it'll get worse if Liverpool win the Premiership?)

Whilst we're on the subject of football, wealth and power, I should just also give a plug to a great initiative run by some friends of ours, and which we are supporting. The Street Child World Cup takes place in Durban next year, and will bring together teams of street kids to highlight their situation. More here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/9002

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.