Howzat? Church and mosques come together for a friendly cricket rivalry

·2-min read
Front, Centre, captains Abdul Alim and Fr Jordon Mcdermott pictured with the teams before the start of the interfaith Cricket Match at Stonyhurst College.
Front, Centre, captains Abdul Alim and Fr Jordon Mcdermott pictured with the teams before the start of the interfaith Cricket Match at Stonyhurst College.

The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) and Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCfM) cricket teams faced against each other last week.

Players on both sides came together from across the County for the bi-annual match, staged this time at Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe.

In what was a close fought encounter on a low-scoring pitch, Blackburn Diocese beat the LCfM in a match where inter-faith relationships flourished.

Lancashire Telegraph: Jeremy Davies from Thornton in action bowling during the interfaith cricket match played at Stonyhurst College
Lancashire Telegraph: Jeremy Davies from Thornton in action bowling during the interfaith cricket match played at Stonyhurst College

Jeremy Davies from Thornton in action bowling during the interfaith cricket match played at Stonyhurst College

Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North, the current President of ‘Building Bridges in Burnley’, said: “This encounter between the team from the Diocese and the team from Lancashire Council of Mosques is now a regular fixture in the county’s cricketing calendar.

“The match embodies love and friendship between our communities; giving us chance to spend time together so we can learn more about each other and build mutual respect.

“And now we have emerged from the pandemic, it’s even more important to ensure we continue have events like this.

"I am delighted to hear it is now a bi-annual fixture and I’m sure the match will grow in popularity for many years to come.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Scenes from the interfaith cricket match played at Stonyhurst College.
Lancashire Telegraph: Scenes from the interfaith cricket match played at Stonyhurst College.

Scenes from the interfaith cricket match played at Stonyhurst College.

The Diocesan team, sporting a brand-new kit for this season, consisted of both clergy and lay members; whilst teachers, clerics and members of mosques made up the LCfM side.

The mosques team also featured the current Leader of Burnley Council, Councillor Afrasiab Anwar.

Captain of the LCfM side Abdul Alim, from Blackburn, said: “The fixture is one of the highlights of the summer.

"The match is played in the right spirit, lots of fun, sharing food together and most importantly building lasting friendships.

“Whilst positive results are an element of these matches, continued fostering of friendships and respect are far more important.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Captain Fr Jordon McDermott pictured with the new kit for The Church of England in Lancashire team.
Lancashire Telegraph: Captain Fr Jordon McDermott pictured with the new kit for The Church of England in Lancashire team.

Captain Fr Jordon McDermott pictured with the new kit for The Church of England in Lancashire team.

Diocesan Captain, Rev. Jordan McDermott, Curate at Accrington's St Mary Magdalene, added: “It has been wonderful to participate in a now bi-annual match that is going from strength to strength.

“On the pitch, you never know what is going to happen – that’s cricket.

"Off the pitch, you can guarantee that bonds are being formed and nurtured which can only have a positive impact on the county of Lancashire.

“It is the highlight of our cricketing calendar: good cricket, good food and most importantly good friends. Long may it continue.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Ian Davies of Thornton celebrates taking a wicket.
Lancashire Telegraph: Ian Davies of Thornton celebrates taking a wicket.

Ian Davies of Thornton celebrates taking a wicket.

On what was a perfect evening for cricket and laughter, friendships were once again formed and strengthened on and off the pitch.

There was tea at the close; the Mosques team provided vegetable rice and samosas, the Diocesan team provided cakes and scones and drinks.

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