Football fan Terry is chaplain at Wroxham FC
Ex-Norwich prison chaplain Terry Baxter has become chaplain to Wroxham Football Club, combining his love of football with his love of God.
A Wroxham supporter for over 30 years, Terry attends the weekly Saturday matches and often the midweek games and travels to away matches on the club coach.
This is the first time the club has had a chaplain. Terry was chaplain at Norwich prison for 18 years. His appointment came about when Rev Bert Capmore, chaplain to Gorleston football Club, who Terry worked with at Norwich prison, recommended him.
Terry was delighted when he was approached to become chaplain. He said,“I feel a strong calling to chaplaincy work.”
Sports chaplaincy is growing in the UK. There are over 300 sports chaplains in the UK – not just in football – to professional and amateur teams.
Wroxham are in the Ryman League, division 1 North level, which is the eighth tier of English Football. Terry said, “I’ve always liked football at that level.” Over the years, Terry has got to know the players, supporters and officials. He said, “I am a great believer in friendship evangelism.” He feels it is important to get to know people and get alongside them. Terry enjoys the banter at the club and said after a convincing win, people often joke that Terry has a word with ‘Him up there’!
Terry prays for the team and club members. As a chaplain he sees his role as helping people through problems. He has ministered to people through difficult times such as illness and marriage breakups. He said, “It’s always a privilege to give support.”