Churches in England that moved or shortened their Sunday worship services, hoping for a historic moment as they watched the Lionesses take on Spain in the Women’s World Cup final this weekend, defend their decision to screen the world cup final.
The Sunday controversial move was backed by the Bishop of Derby, right Rev Lane, who also is the church’s spokeswoman on the sports.
The vicar of St Luke’s church in Bournemouth Rev Michael Smith, said after the church screened the match that it was a way of connecting with the local community, reports Premier Christian News
“We have these sort of socking great buildings that are often the largest buildings and largest indoor space in the community. And I think to the outside world, they often appear just to be shut off to ordinary people six days a week, or seven days a week. And so for us to do something like this is really important,” he said.
“We want to do more things where we can share the space with the community. And I think we have adapted and changed a bit to recognize that we do need to do that and reach out more to the community” he added.
Despite the Lionesses’ 1-0 against Spain, tributes for them have been pouring in on social media sites.
In a tweet, Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, expressed his support for the group.
“Commiserations @Lionesses, World Cup 2023 Finalists. We know you gave it everything. We admire your talent, grit, and determination. And congratulations to Spain, who played with such dedication to the end,” He wrote.
The Church of England’s second most senior cleric, the Archbishop of York, also took to social media to congratulate the Lionesses.
“Commiserations to the #Lionesses. They can rightly be proud of all they’ve achieved and in the way they have lifted the hearts of the nation in being the first England world cup finalists since 1966. Congratulations to Spain on their win.” he wrote
Commiserations @Lionesses, World Cup 2023 Finalists. We know you gave it everything.
We admire your talent, grit and determination.
And congratulations to Spain, who played with such dedication to the end.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) August 20, 2023