Christ Church Lisburn played something of a ringer when they enlisted the services of the Bishop of Connor to strengthen the football team they put out against a local Simon Community team.
But it was to no avail as the match ended 6–5 in favour of the Simon Community.
Undaunted in defeat a modest Bishop Alan Abernethy was very quick to claim that he had actually scored the ‘goal of the game’ and this was backed up by the rector of Christ Church, the Rev Paul Dundas.
The match, played at Lisburn Leisureplex on Wednesday November 28, was organised to mark Homeless Awareness Week. Arlene Irvine, team leader of the Simon Community at Flush Park, Lisburn, said the organisation had very close links with the parish.
“Paul is very involved in our project and the Christ Church has always been very supportive of us,” said Arlene. “We were really delighted when we heard the Bishop was coming along to support us too, we could not believe it!”
The match was organised by Philip Doherty, accommodation and community based support worker for the Simon Community.
The Christ Church team was made up of parishioners and friends of the parish as well as local politicians Alderman Paul Porter and Alderman James Tinsley of Lisburn City Council and Councillor Paul Rankin from MLA Brenda Hale’s office.
Phillip said Lisburn Council was also very supportive of the Simon Community, and allowed young people living in the hostel and the community to use the Leisureplex for free for an hour every Wednesday afternoon.
On this occasion their training clearly paid off!