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Top-hatted ministry at Royal Ascot

12 July 2013


From the Revd Andrew Thomas

Sir, - I was the cleric studying the race card at Royal Ascot on 21 June in your photo (News, 28 June).

I should like to take this opportunity to say that, as a member of the Ascot Racecourse Chaplaincy Service, I was working. "Yeah, right!" I hear you say.

After Royal Ascot's move to York in 2006, while the new grandstand was being built, the Ascot authorities saw the success of a chaplaincy service that had been set up at York racecourse, and wanted to replicate it at home. After they contacted the surrounding parishes, a chaplaincy was begun, at Royal Ascot week to begin with, and now at all Ascot meetings throughout the year.

With the support of the national horse-racing chaplain, the Revd Graham Locking, and Sports Chaplaincy UK, chaplaincy is becoming established and successful at Ascot. There are plans for establishing it at Windsor, and other areas of sport nationally.

This is a great area of ministry, which is growing fast. I thank you for the opportunity, through my picture, to show that the Kingdom of God is growing in places where we might not immediately recognise it.

Assistant Curate of the Cookhams
3 The Parish Centre
Churchgate, Cookham
Berkshire SL6 9SN

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