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CofE sports bishop clarifies comments about skipping church to cheer on Lionesses

by Sophie Drew

The Church of England’s lead bishop for Sport has clarified comments made regarding cancelled services ahead of the women’s World Cup match this weekend.

England will play against Spain in the final on Sunday, at 11am.

It’s left many churches wondering how to accommodate the match alongside their usual Sunday schedule – and for some, it's a question of whether to abandon services at that time all together.

Comments made by Bishop Libby Lane following England’s victory in the semi-finals saw some concerned that the Church of England was in favour of encouraging congregants to skip church in order to watch the match.

However, in a statement clarifying her thoughts on the matter, Bishop Libby says that isn’t the case, and that people can balance their Sunday worship whilst also supporting the England team.

The statement reads: “My congratulations to the Lionesses on their fantastic achievement and I know lots of people will want to watch the match live. That is fine from the Church of England’s point of view.

“Others will prefer to go to church and avoid knowing the score until they can watch the match on catch-up, and that is fine too. Church services happen at different times in different places, so people can choose one that is right for them.

“Whatever they decide to do, I’m sure the final will be a wonderful and memorable occasion and, win or lose, the Lionesses should be immensely proud!”

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