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Mission goes to Olympic lengths

13 July 2012

by a staff reporter

AS THE opening ceremony of the Olympics is just a fortnight away, churches have been gearing up to make the most of the mission opportunities. London City Mission is providing many Games pastors for the organisation More Than Gold, set up to help churches make the most of the Games. Games pastors will be operating at transport hubs around the city, to support and welcome visitors.

The co-ordinator of Games pastors, Phil Moore, said that it was "an exciting opportunity to engage with the millions of people".

Faith leaders have been welcoming the Olympic torch as it makes its way around the country, and the relay enters its final stages. In Richmond, North Yorkshire, Charlotte Brown (above), aged 20, carried the Olympic Torch in recognition of the work that she does for her parish church, where she leads services, is on the PCC and hospitality team, and helps at a youth week each year.

A prayer baton has shadowed the torch on its journey around the country, handed over from church leaders at each stop.

In Bedford, an interfaith initiative has brought together Christian and Muslim basketball players and cricketers to encourage people to follow the "golden rule" in sport. The first day of the Olympics will be marked by mass bell-ringing around the country - the All the Bells project - which will be broadcast live on TV and radio. Hundreds of church bell-ringers have signed up.

Participants at the national prayer breakfast, organised once a year by the Bible Society, heard about the 3000-mile walk by its chairman, Lord Bates, to raise awareness of the Olympic Truce. This was kept for 1200 years during the Ancient Olympics, but not in modern times.

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