Here are some stories since we launched in Sptember 2019 from both our Southampton and Portsmouth sites.
Ben Morgan, Portsmouth
When I was a kid, I had no connection with Church whatsoever as I was brought up in a non-religious family. A friend invited me to play football on a Friday and of course the answer was yes – who would turn down football? I went along to Bridge The Gap and straight away I felt a sense of community and that sold it to me. After a while one of the staff then invited me to Harbour Church on a Sunday. I was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect and I was very out of my comfort zone.
However, I felt like I went as a visitor and left that evening feeling part of a family. I was told about Alpha and was very hesitant at first, but I can honestly say that Alpha has changed my life and introduced me to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. My parents said that I would be ‘the last person that would go to Church’. This shows that Church really is for anyone and god is waiting for you to open the door for him to enter in your life.
I have now opened that door and let God into my life and would now class myself as a Christian. Proverbs 16:9: We can make our plans, but the lord determines our steps.
Jonny Powell, Portsmouth
I’ve always loved football, but it used to be something I kept separate from my faith. Bridge The Gap has given me the opportunity to combine faith and football whilst also helping me to develop personally as a leader. Seeing mates come along initially just to play football but then ending up being a part of a community has been amazing.
I have been blown away by the amount of people that have opened their hearts to Jesus and to finding out more about faith, and all it took was just a simple invite to come and play football. Bridge The Gap demonstrates the power that sport can have on people’s lives. I cannot wait to see more bridges being built between Church and football across the UK in the future.
Jahi Laing, Southampton
Life before I joined Bridge The Gap was different. I had my frustrations and issues that weren’t in my control and I hadn’t figured out a way to let them go and move on. A few things didn’t help trying to move on, my dad had suffered a heart attack and it hurt seeing someone you care about have something like that happen to them.
A friend of mine invited me to a Bridge The Gap sessions and I thought of it as a normal kick about but over the next few weeks I made so many friendships with some brilliant people, and then they invited me to Alpha which made me think about and question faith. This led me to church and helping me learn more about my faith, as well as helping me grow as a person and allowing me to move on from those frustrations of the past.
Sam Bell, Southampton
I was a quiet kid who just sat at the back of church, who left straight after it finished. Bridge The Gap has helped my create community not just inside the church, but outside the church too.
I’ve been able to invite my friends and see them grow in such a short space of time. Lads who didn’t want anything to do with Christianity or Jesus are opening their hearts to faith, praying for each other, coming to church, to now saying they believe in God. It has well and truly bridged a pathway between football and church.