Local Club Chaplains
Phil Martin has been a friendly and familiar face since 2005 at the Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham. He serves as a volunteer Chaplain for the club giving a listening ear to the many players, coaches and club people who would otherwise find it hard to talk about the ‘life stuff’ they are regularly facing or helping others through.
Pastor Martin joined the football volunteer staff after the death of club champion and Melbourne Football Club player Troy Broadbridge in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. He got to share the emotions and pain with the club following the tragic incident. Martin reflected, “Since then, it’s been my experience, that, blokes in particular, want to talk about ‘the life stuff’ privately yet casually around the track rather than formerly with a counsellor. They’re looking for the friend-over-the-fence conversation.”
After the club lost its President few years ago a senior member of the Board was asked to take on heightened responsibilities at the club. This coincided with some major changes at his work. Martin said, “Thinking about the pressure our club leaders were facing I went ahead and made a phone call to him.” The timing of the call proved to be significant. Noting that the Board member publicly acknowledged, “No one will ever know the difference that phone call made to my life.”
Chaplain Martin regularly finds himself supporting people who are experiencing grief, loss, depression, anxiety and relationship issues. Club General Manager, John Mennie said, “Phil has been great at providing the care our club needs when life goes a little pear-shaped. And it does – we see it all the time. He’s been great for a number of our boys and staff and an invaluable help for our club over the years.”