MUD, sweat and tries are as a lot part of a typical weekend as Sunday companies for rugby taking part in vicar Tom Brown.
The 34-year-old curate casts off the robes and pulls on his Wath RUFC equipment to deal with a interest that is far faraway from his work at St Thomas’ Church at Kilnhurst.
Tom, a scrum-half, has performed rugby since he was at college and has been a part of the Wath set-up for two-and-a-half years.
“I’ve an actual ardour for rugby and the physicality of it. There’s a complete lot of stuff that comes collectively to make it sensible,” he says.
“It will get you out of the bubble of being surrounded by church stuff and one factor we’re supposed as vicars is to get on the market into the actual world with actual folks.
“God has given us superb issues like our bodies and sport. A pure a part of being a Christian for me is utilizing my physique in a means that pushes it to the restrict.”
Tom isn’t the stereotypical rugby participant and when he tells folks about his “day” job, there are quizzical seems.
“Some folks simply cannot compute it,” he explains. “They ask ‘what are you doing taking part in rugby?’
“You get a load of stick for it and a variety of banter however that is enjoyable.
“As you get to know folks it turns into a reasonably regular factor. I am only a follower of Jesus who performs rugby and that is nice.”
An assistant vicar of St Thomas’, Tom is coming to the tip of a three-year apprenticeship to turn into a totally fledged cleric. He beforehand labored in enterprise earlier than doing a Theology diploma at college.
Though he does not consciously got down to “convert” any of his team-mates to his religion, he’s available to supply steering and assist, notably in what has been such a tough yr.
“It is like every kind of relationship. When you get to know folks you begin speaking about different issues,” he says.
“You begin to get alongside folks and construct real relationships and attempt to be a superb mate to folks. In the event you peel again a few of these layers there’s a complete load of stuff we have occurring beneath the floor that we need to discover solutions to and to search out methods of wrestling by means of life.
“I’ve sat in Costa and talked to guys about marriages which are breaking down and mates which have had some laborious instances by means of Covid. It has been an actual privilege to expertise actual life on the bottom.
“The stuff you naturally love simply bubble over and for me the excellent news about Jesus simply bubbles over in an acceptable means and hopefully that is sensible information for the rugby guys, similar to it’s for the pensioner that lives down the street from me.
“I am not there to do a ‘mission’ and have them as my targets. There are simply guys I need to be a superb mate to.
“With me being a southerner and being right here not realizing anyone, the rugby membership has simply been a pleasant place to get to know a complete load of individuals and we have now turn into mates shortly.”
A married father of two, Tom is not the one one at Wath Rugby Membership with spiritual connections.
Ben Eager, who performs for the primary group, works for Rotherham Evangelical Church.
“We get alongside fairly properly,” says Tom. “We additionally used to wish collectively earlier than video games and ask the Lord to assist us to play laborious and never cheat and know the place the road is, all these kinds of issues.”
All being nicely, 2021 will allow Tom to mix his church work with a full quota of rugby matches, which hasn’t been the case for a lot of the yr.
“It is good taking part in scrum-half,” he smiles. “I haven’t got to do any tackling. It is my job to inform the others what to do. I feel it is one of the best place on the pitch, I like it.”