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Ringing changes

31 August 2012

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.


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