Prayer for Liverpool
The pictures that accompany this blog are historic!
They depict the last time the Diocese of Liverpool won the National Church Times Cricket Cup and were taken in 1993. (I’m the one in the middle at the front holding the cup)
Cricket had always played a big part in my life (my finest cricketing hour was opening the batting at Old Trafford for Lancashire under 19’s!). So when I was ordained in 1978 I joined the Liverpool Clergy Cricket Team and met up with some of the most talented, amusing, supportive, quirky, and occasionally down right bonkers group of men (yes, in those days men) that it was my privilege to get to know.
Never having won the cup before, between 1978 and 1990 we won it 10 times in 12 years. Believe me it was no easy task. Each Thursday in the season we were required to play ‘group’ matches against the dioceses of Chester, Manchester, Blackburn, and Carlisle before playing other northern group winners in the quarter and semi - finals. The Grand Final was always played in London – a distinct advantage to our Southern opponents. All matches were very competitive and not without controversy. Bishop David Sheppard was a great supporter but after a nasty ‘incident’ when playing for the Diocese of Southwark, Grace forbade him from playing again!
Of course members of the team were very different both in personality and churchmanship. Journeys to matches could be fraught with danger as a variety of topics would be fiercely debated on long car journeys. This may well have accounted for our reputation of being aggressive on the field as by the time a game started some of our team were fairly worked up with each other!
For those with long(ish) memories over the years the following clergy who served in the city and held at some times the following posts played for the team:
John Macaulay – Chaplain to Liverpool College and our long time captain
Simon Starkey – Vicar of St Bede and Area Dean of Toxteth
Ray Hutchinson – Vicar of St Dunstan Edge Hill
Henry Corbett – Vicar of St Peter Everton
Pete Winn –Vicar of St Margaret Anfield
Alan Godson – Vicar of St Mary Edge Hill
David Harrison – Vicar of St Michael in the Hamlet
Jonathan Anders – Vicar of St Anne Aigburth was our scorer
David Hutton – Canon Chancellor of Liverpool Cathedral was our President and Benefactor.
As L. P. Hartley famously began ‘The Go Between’, the past is a foreign country. I can, however remember profoundly disagreeing with a team mate’s theology and finding them a crushing bore during a 2 hour car journey but then cheering them to the rafters if they scored a magnificent 100 or took a match winning hat trick. I’m not suggesting in any way that our present predicament can be seriously compared to a game of cricket but when it came down to it, each one of us would support each other for what we perceived to be the greater good and in doing so petty disagreements became irrelevant. And of course ultimately cricket itself is an irrelevance as we look to the future with hope in the presence of the Risen Lord Jesus whose resurrection assures us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God