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Chaplain’s Corner

Chaplain’s Corner

By Rob Overfield
16 August
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Club chaplain Paul Barker’s first column of the new season from the match against Hemel Hempstead.


Last weekend saw the traditional curtain raiser for the new Premier League season. Manchester City took on Liverpool for the Community Shield. This marks the end of pre-season preparations as teams gear themselves up for the new campaign.

Personally, I think this annual fixture seems to get overshadowed now by the number of pre-season tournaments that take place all around the globe. There have been tournaments in the Far East, Europe and U.S.A. I think it is a strange way to prepare for a competition by taking on some of your opponents before it starts!! The reason for this is to fulfil contractual obligations of the team’s sponsors. What frustrates me with our top clubs, that participate in such tours, is that come September the managers will be saying how tired their star players are!!

Pre-season is, or should be all about preparation for the league programme that stretches out in front of teams for the next 9 months. Those who hoped to make our squad reported back for training at the end of June. The first few sessions concentrated on fitness levels and some of the ones I witnessed were quite brutal!! Training was mixed with 8 friendly matches against a variety of opposition, from higher and lower leagues.

Gary used these games to look at players he was trying to bring in, who would hopefully fit the style and pattern of play he was hoping to adopt. The “Gaffer’s” preparation work for the new campaign started even before the final ball had been kicked back in April.

Preparation is also an important part of everyday life. A solid foundation of education and family stability is a good start from which to build, although I appreciate this is not everyone’s experience. I am sure you can think of other things that give your life a solid base.

Jesus told lots of stories to help illustrate lessons for life. One well known tale tells of two builders. The first one was in a bit of a rush so he built a house without digging any foundations. Well, I’m no builder, but even I know that is not a good idea. His mate, on the other hand, took his time and did a proper job, with regulation approved foundations. I wonder which house was still standing after the winter storms had done their worst?!!

What was Jesus getting at? When He referred to the storms, He wasn’t talking about thunder and lightning, but the storms of life that affect us all from time to time, such as health issues, bereavements or just being disappointed and upset.

What are the foundations of your life and are they sound and strong enough to cope with the storm life throws at you?
Hopefully the foundations Gary and his management team have “dug” are strong enough for the season ahead.

C’mon you Beavers.

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