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Sanctuary Team in Thrilling 5-5 Draw


Football. A game so deeply embedded in the fabric of our society that perhaps every story that can be told about it has already been told. But then a late summer evening treat had yet to unfold…

Recently Eastbourne United’s ground and around 80 riveted spectators witnessed something quite extraordinary – the first ever football match that the Sanctuary United team have played in with their inaugural match against Eastbourne District and General Hospital (EDGH) Team.

The Sanctuary United team was made up of men who had never before played a match together and whose training sessions only began in the week before the match. More importantly, as people seeking asylum, they have faced some of the greatest challenges that life can deliver.

The Hospital team – a group of hospital staff whose journey into existence was borne out of a desire to promote health and well being amongst the staff had pulled together to create a team comprising a wonderful blend of youth and experience.  Fresh from their success against their rivals at the Conquest Hospital, they were only too delighted to offer Sanctuary United a game.

A more perfect evening there could not have been. The late summer sun offering the heat and sunshine that demands excellent football.

The shouting and cheering echoed round the ground as the goals poured and the game see-sawed – first one side, then the other getting the upper hand. The pressure on both sides was relentless.

In that time, men who have often been isolated as individuals came together as a team and delivered joy to everyone. There was so much poignancy – a ‘normal’ game of football being far from normal. The usual divisiveness of competition did not apply and the spectators came together in collective shouts of encouragement and joy – celebrating and expressing all our diversity with respect and unity.

At one point Sanctuary United’s number 9 scored and in celebration he raised his top to reveal a cross, RIP and the name of his sister. A reminder of the family he had to leave behind to come here. He scored and in joy remembered his sorrow, the two mingling for him and for all that watched reminding us that this game could never be just a game.

Whilst the EDGH team left the pitch full of respect and sometimes in awe, in the very act of playing and being part of the spectacle, they also gave the opportunity of another small step towards healing.

And the score? 5 – 5 at the final whistle.

In agreement with both captains the scene was set for the dreaded penalty shoot. The energy, joy, competitive spirit that poured out of both teams in those final agonising last minutes was plain to see and the crowd lapped it up. Sadly, for Sanctuary United, it wasn’t their night and the victory went to the EDGH team.

The success of the evening (over £300 was raised to support the work of Sanctuary) and the quality of football has ensured that both teams are likely to face each other again in the future and we look forward to another fantastic game of football.

Special thanks to Eastbourne United Football Ground, all the players and coaches in both teams, the wonderful referee Matt plus the young Oliver who stood in as linesman last minute and finally to Zack who organised the whole event and Dem Shish who kindly provided the kit for Sanctuary United.

Training for Good Conversations

Linking Lives UK, which has an Eastbourne branch,  offer a “Good conversations” online training workshop which is available free at the moment. The workshop is aimed at volunteers whose role includes hosting conversations in community settings such as community cafes, lunch clubs or community drop-in centres.
Please see the link for further details

Comedy Night at Kings Church

Andy Kind started doing stand-up in January 2005 and by the end of that year had gone full-time as a comedian and has made a living from it ever since. He won Anything for Laffs in 2005 and has performed over 2000 gigs! Andy’s stand-up style is the joyful ranting of a redeemed alpha male. He’s been featured on BBC1, ITV and Channel 4, and had jokes featured on Dave’s One Night Stand and Live at the Apollo.

Andy has featured at King’s several times in the past and has been excellent. An entertaining and relaxed event to invite friends, neighbours, colleagues and family for an evening together. The event will be cabaret style with tickets just £5 to include a free bar drink and snacks. Sign up using the link here –

  • Wednesday, 20 September 2023
  • 7:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Kings Centre

How can Eastbourne churches help house the homeless?

Hope into Action now has more than 100 houses and supports over 350 people across the country. There are 3 properties in Eastbourne, overseen by the local Christian charity, Kingdom Way Trust, but we’d love to be able to offer more homes. This requires people to pray, invest, provide practical help, offer friendship, and support tenants.

Many people require support in various ways and the sense of belonging within a community is very positive. During the past five years, local churches have shown love and provided friendship and community to many individuals and families who have lived in our Hope into Action homes.  There are many more people in Eastbourne who would benefit from a home and support.

If you are interested in how you and your church could respond to the need, please come and find out more about Hope into Action on Monday 9th October 7.30pm at King’s Church, 27 Edison Rd, BN23 6PT, Eastbourne.
Jon Kuhrt, the new leader of Hope into Action, will be speaking. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you are able to publicise this event in your church for others that may be interested, that would be much appreciated. Thank you

Prayer Shawl Workshop at Penhurst

Wednesday 11 October 2023 at Penhurst Retreat Centre

*NEW* Prayerful Crochet: Making a Prayer Shawl
Leader: Vicki Cottingham

Come together and crochet a prayer shawl, spending time praying for the person who will be receiving it. Whilst we crochet the shawl as a gift for someone else, the act of crocheting itself is a gift to ourselves as it is beneficial for our own mental and emotional wellbeing.

Cost of the day is £40 and includes a light lunch.

For more information and to book your place go to

Way of The Spirit Workshop Comes to Eastbourne

The Way of The Spirit is a prophetic ministry which inspires and equips Christians to tap into the flow of the Holy Spirit and to be trained and sent out to speak God’s word to the nations. The training mornings and Bible reading groups offer an ap- proach to studying the Bible that leads Christians to the richness of life that men and women of Bible times knew. It remains deep and full of life without ever be- coming dry or over-technical.


Who Do You Think You Are? Really?

Who do you think you are? Really?

Do you believe that you’re a burden, fearful, useless, unloved, or even worthless or perhaps doubt who God says you are? If this is you, then come along to this free online Christian Transformation Workshop; ‘Who do you think you are?’

We will have a look at those beliefs and begin to reframe them, so you can begin your journey into knowing who you truly are and that; you are loved, you do have a purpose, you are wonderful and you are valuable – whether you believe it now or not!

Register for this FREE online event here now:

Men’s Lives – Echoing in Eternity?

Crowhurst Christian Healing Centre are now taking bookings for their Men’s weekend 24th – 26th November.  Here is what to expect:  The great Roman general Maximus, played by Russel Crowe in the film ‘Gladiator’  urged his men as they lined up for battle ‘Brothers, what we do in life… echoes in eternity.’  This is not an easy time to be alive in our present world, but deep within each of us is still the desire to make our lives count for eternity. Whether we have many years to live, or just a few, we long to make a difference.

This weekend you are warmly invited to join us as a group of men, not only for good food, good fellowship and fun, but also to explore what God might be saying to us in these times. We shall be looking at the life of Abraham, a man of faith, generosity, courage as well as failings. In different ways he was a warrior, a priest, a prophet and a king. Just as he made an impact for eternity, we shall be learning from him how we can in our own lives make an impact that echo in eternity.

The accommodation is full board with en-suite or non en-suite rooms available (£260/£230).  The weekend begins on Friday afternoon and runs until Sunday afternoon.  To book call 01424 830204 or