Bringing my faith to parkrun

Published on: 11 March 2020

Roy Roberts shares his love of the organised free, weekly, 5km timed running phenomenon that is parkrun.

We all have a journey that brings both fond and difficult memories, this is what helps shape the kind of person that we become. Finding my faith was the beginning of seeing myself how God does, and I knew that I had a long way to go to keep discovering the kind of person I could become.

I had been going to Church for about 10 years before I decided that I needed to take better care of my body. God gives us the gift of life and we have the responsibility to take care of the bodies that he has given us, which we tend to neglect.

Since I was young, I had been unable to kick bad habits of eating, but I was inspired by my father-in-law to do something about it. I decided that alongside a diet change, I would begin running at parkrun.

I have been amazed at the level of community spirit at this event every week and it has helped me progress in my abilities far beyond I thought possible. I bring my faith with me every week and it is always such a delight seeing many other Christians doing the same, helping to build this community.

I make sure that I pray before every event for all of those who are involved as well as those I know that cannot make it that week. I encourage others to pray for parkrun and to openly display that we pray for this event. It is important that as Christians that we are not just involved but also a strong positive presence at these places, bringing God’s love and peace with us.

Parkrun is great way of getting together with lots of other likeminded people who want to run, but all there for their own reason. I have since joined a running club, which makes parkrun a bit more fun as I can connect with more people on a Saturday morning.

This has helped shape the kind of person I am over the last year and I am better for it. My wife and I also volunteer at junior parkrun on a Sunday morning, which is even more fun as we get to encourage the next generation into being healthy and fit individuals with a great sense of self-esteem, they can carry into adulthood.

I believe that parkrun is ordained by God, as there are few things in life that bring people together as well as this and running in general does. I would encourage anyone thinking about exercise in any way to get along to their nearest parkrun and get involved, whether it be for running, walking or volunteering, it is a great place to be.

I think that what makes this event so special is that there is no discrimination of any kind, anyone can turn up and do the route at their pace. This is such a great demonstration of God’s love for us, that anyone can turn to God no matter how they come they are all welcome into the Kingdom.

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