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On the Ball…..! – A Focus on Fun points the way towards popular public engagement

A few days ago, one of the more popular Radio Stations invited a Church of England Vicar to talk about the special prayer he had published. In essence this was an appeal to the Almighty (or, to reflect our multiculturalisms, one of the Almighties) to assist the England team in their quest to win the World Cup.

Once upon a time, such an item would have struggled for space on the BBC but in these days of rolling 24-hour news and current affairs, this was an angle fully deserving of an airing. Afterwards, the presenter asked the Vicar why he had gone to the trouble. Predictably the answer was This is the way we can engage with young people! There followed a fascinating discussion on the wall-to-wall media coverage of the football-fest in Germany; on the good and bad points of the football culture, and on the cult of soccer celebrities and the influence they have on young people.


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