On Sunday 23 May a Synod tradition – the Charles Farnsworthy III touch football game – continued once again.
The rot set in early. Even before the game kicked off City were up to their usual tricks of buying a number of Country players just to be able to get on the field. These payments were made on a separate set of books so evidence of said payments cannot be published at this stage.
Rev Ray Nutley got the game underway with a yelp (he forgot his whistle) but the game quickly reached a high standard with slick plays of the ball, steady sprints and numerous run-arounds.
After a number of line attacks on both sides, Country broke the line first with some clever play leading to Brendan Hooper planting the ball over the line.
City fought back and international, bought-in player Viliami Mila crossed the line to tie the game one all.
A tight tussle developed in the middle with a number of players calling for half-time, substitution or an ambulance. But in true ‘we’ve got to finish before the vote for General-Secretary’ spirit, the game went on and it was then that true Christian competition was shown; head shots, off-side play and obstruction ‘in love’.
Finally the wrestle was broken with Country’s Brendan Hooper going over the line, then passing back to Wayne Davidson as Brendan was dummy-half.
Country then pressed their advantage with game organiser Paul Clark crossing the line to make the final score 3-1 to Country.
The large parochial crowd celebrated the win and Charles Farnsworthy (in whose memory the game is played) would have smiled in his grave – if he were actually deceased.
Thanks to all involved – and aside from this being a fun break in the midst of the serious business, this is also trying to help the synod connect with the younger generation, and take seriously the call to look after ourselves physically.