Archbishop's Support for UNICEF Soccer Aid 2012
Sunday 27th May 2012The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has written to players taking part in tonight's Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford, Manchester, in support of the work UNICEF is doing to tackle global poverty.
Two teams of celebrities and football legends representing England and The Rest of the World will tonight take part in a match that will help save and change children’s lives.
The Archbishop of York’s Message in Support of the Soccer Aid 2012 game follows:
“Can I wish both teams all the best tonight ahead of the Soccer Aid 2012 game. It is humbling to see so many stars from across the world coming together to help raise awareness of the work of UNICEF.
UNICEF does such vital work in the fight against global poverty. It cannot be right that in our world of plenty, so many people still go hungry at night or are dying of preventable diseases.
We need to recognise that every child on our planet is of equal value. Whether a child is born in South Sudan or South London, that child is incredibly special, and of infinite worth in the eyes of God. More than this, that child should have the opportunity to live a good and healthy life, free from oppression and suffering.
Things like access to decent health care, decent education, nutritional food, clean drinking water and a safe living environment are not luxuries – they are necessities. Every child should get the best possible start in life and the support to grow.
Tonight, whatever the result in your football match, I hope that the real winners will be the children growing up in difficult conditions around the world.
I hope people watching at home will not only enjoy seeing some of their heroes playing at Old Trafford – as a Manchester United fan, I can think of nothing more wonderful – I hope they will also pick up the phone and help donate to the work of UNICEF. It may not seem like much, but whatever someone can spare could make a massive difference in the lives of others. It could even be the difference between life and death.
I will say a prayer for you all before kick off. I hope that before the whistle goes for the start of the game, that maybe each of you taking part will take a few seconds to spare a thought for those suffering around the world tonight. Those going hungry. Those without water. Those living in fear. Kick the ball with determination and purpose and help to kick poverty away from our children of the world. Make the impossible possible.
While tackling global poverty is a massive challenge, a willingness to serve others and make a difference in the face of adversity, can be an inspiration. Remember with God nothing is impossible. Hope never dies.
Thank you all again for your commitment – and God bless you.
PS COME ON ENGLAND!”