BISHOP TERENCE BRAIN of Salford has written to Manchester United and Liverpool football clubs to ask them to reflect on the timing of a Premiership fixture between the clubs scheduled for 3pm on Good Friday, writes Joe Jenkins.
In a letter to the management, players and supporters of the clubs, the bishop asks whether it is unreason able to expect the most solemn moment of the Christian calendar to be marked without the distraction of a high-profile football match, to be shown simultaneously on Sky Sports.
"Good Friday, 3pm, is one of the most sacred times in the Christian year," he writes. "For 2,000 years Christians have been pausing at that time on Good Friday to remember the death of Christ, and reflect on its meaning."
The clubs turned to God for comfort after the Heysel and Munich tragedies, so why not thank God for the life of Christ and "make sense of our own lives and deaths" at the same time, Bishop Brain writes.
He asks: "Does the game ; have to be played at 3pm?"