ST MATTHEW's, Redhill, in
Southwark diocese, had its own way of celebrating
an Olympic fun day. Families came to the church and decorated giant
Olympic rings in the flag colours of many of the participating
countries - some representing the country of origin of the
congregation members themselves. The rings were then hung as giant
mobiles in the side aisles of the church, each ring with the image
of a dove of peace bearing a prayer for the country.
The next day, at the Sunday-morning
family service, eight members of the church were each handed a
giant relay baton, bearing the names of members of the
congregation, which they have now passed on to neighbouring
churches. The idea is that each church will add the names of their
congregation members, and pass the baton on, having first prayed
for all the names it carries.
"We have made arrangements for the
batons eventually to go as far as Australia, Zimbabwe, and Sri
Lanka," the Vicar, the Revd Andrew Cunnington, says. They are all
countries where people at St Matthew's have strong links.
What they really hope is that the
batons will find their way back to St Matthew's by Advent Sunday,
when the church in Redhill will pray for the churches in all the
places to which the batons have travelled.