Getting To Know… Ken Batt

Did you know that your Basingstoke Town FC has a Club Chaplain?

We thought now was a great opportunity to introduce or reintroduce you to Ken Batt our ‘Soccer Chaplain’ who has helped supporters and players for over 20 years.  We thought this moment in time represented a good opportunity to showcase what Ken does for our club and for you – our community.

So, we thought we would ask him some questions…..

How long have you been involved in the club?

I have been involved with the club as its honorary chaplain for around 21 years in two separate spells.  1991-2000 during my time as Vicar of Kempshott and 2008-present. I was invited to take up the role again following my return from parish ministry in Bournemouth to become Resident Priest in Silchester.  For me the highlight of my involvement with the club to date has to be the sensational success of the F.A. Cup run during the 1997/98 Season with two dramatic away ties with football league teams. First we defeated  Wycombe Wanderers In aNpenalty shoot-out 5-4 after a drawn replay at the Camrose in front of a ground record attendance of 5,085.  The second round tie at Northampton also ended in a draw and another replay at the Camrose. On a bitterly cold December evening an even match, televised live by Sky Sports, also needed another shoot-out which,sadly, we lost 4-3.  Memories of this amazing achievement will live long in the memory!

What does a Soccer Chaplain actually do?

Sports Chaplaincy UK, a charity serving sport  through excellence in Chaplaincy, defines the work and role as servant-hearted, striving to be Pastorally proactive and spiritually reactive.  A Chaplain aims to serve all people connected with the club irrespective of position, beliefs, or lifestyle.  The role will vary greatly depending on what is defined by the club as it is very much a permission-led activity, but above all it is simply about being there and available to anyone needing a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend.  Many chaplains, including myself, also undertake traditional functions for their clubs such as weddings, funerals and scattering of ashes.

How Can People Benefit Mostly from what you do?

First and foremost I hope people will benefit from a friendly face that is willing to offer help and advice when asked. I have a genuine love of people and I shall continue to do what I can for a good family club of which we can all be proud.  Whether you are a player, volunteer or supporter I a always here to offer help, guidance and happy to help in anyway I can.

What is the best way to get in contact with you?

I am happy to be contacted by telephone, text or e-mail and also a knock on my door in case of emergency or even social calls; also to have spontaneous
conversations on match days, club events and chance meetings when I am out and about in town having a coffee at Costa!  In short, if you think I can help in anyway, just get in contact.

If you feel you would like to speak to Ken, please contact Ken completely confidentially on ken.batt@btfc.co.uk.