At our South Challenge Cup match v East Kilbride FC at McKenna Park, Match Secretary Felix McKenna got speaking to the EKFC Club Chaplain, which brought back into the forefront of his mind a presentation to the Junior Clubs a year or so earlier where SFA Chaplain Mark Fleming spoke of the usefulness of the Sports Chaplaincy service to the member clubs. Felix was keen to introduce the service to the Ants, but it was put on the backburner whilst some issues were ironed out. The conversation with the EKFC Chaplain saw Felix get back in touch with Mark and before long our chaplain was in place, so without further ado lets meet him, and find out what it is a club chaplain actually does!
Hi Team! I am Brian Mackenzie, a married father of three children, one of which made me Papa to two Grandsons. I live in Neilston but was brought up in Govan and left when I got married in 1987. I have spent my working life in International Transport and recently transferred to Social Care where I now support a man with Autism in his own flat.
I was ordained Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church in 2011 and currently serve in parish of St Charles R C Church in Paisley. During my training and for two years after I also served in both Greenock and Kilmarnock Prisons as part time Chaplain, offering pastoral care to the prisoners.
Having noticed an advert for Football Chaplains in Sports Chaplaincy UK, I applied and was accepted by the SFA Chaplaincy team after completing the short Training Programme I was duly appointed to St Anthony`s in November 2020.
I am delighted to have been appointed to St Anthony`s and look forward to working with you all in the years to come.
SO, I hear you ask
What Does A Football Chaplain Do ???
1 ) Regularly interacts with Players ( 1 x weekly Training Session and home match day ).
2 ) Accept boundaries set in place by the Club ( I am there by Invitation NOT Imposition).
3 ) Address loneliness or homesickness.
4 ) Get alongside players who are injured or isolated.
5 ) Make themselves available to all Players, Management Staff, Coaching Staff and Committee with personal problems.
6 ) Support the mental wellbeing of all those within the Club.
7 ) Helps during bereavement and other crises.
8 ) Help people understand their identity outside of Football – see the person NOT JUST the player.
9 ) Follow up on players who have left the Club
10) Provide discipleship for Christian players who so desire it.
Obviously any conversations with me will remain confidential and no comments made will be disclosed to any other Club member. The only exception is if I see that there is a potential harm to person telling me something or potential that said person may then harm another.
Brian is going to be writing a regular feature on the club website which will cover a whole host of topics, so keep your eyes peeled for that