Churches Set for a Record Response to the 2012 Games
More Than Gold Staff : Jul 30, 2012 : More Than Gold
"This is the largest ever inter-church response in Olympic history and it will show churches at their best—serving their communities and the thousands of international visitors." –David Willson
Thousands of churches are running events for their communities. Large screen festivals are planned, which have an estimated total attendance of 500,000 people. There are Family Fundays, children's clubs, street parties, quiz nights, community cafes, special church celebrations and Holiday at Home for those who are housebound.
The response from the British churches follows two years of work by More Than Gold, whose CEO David Willson is delighted:
"This is the largest ever inter-church response in Olympic history and it will show churches at their best—serving their communities and the thousands of international visitors.
"We have already seen hundreds of churches in action to support the Olympic Torch Relay, serving free refreshments on the streets and holding special events. In the same way, they have come up with fantastic events during the Games themselves, to support their communities, reach out to visitors and those taking part in the Games. The response is inspirational," David Willson said.
In addition to events for their communities, churches are providing free accommodation for over 350 family members of athletes who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend. This is through the More Than Gold Athlete Family Homestay Programme which has the endorsement of the London Organising Committee's Inspire mark.
Over 300 volunteer Games Pastors will serve those passing though main transport hubs, and teams led by The Salvation Army will distribute water to visitors and spectators.
Meanwhile, almost 700 free performances by international musicians, dancers and visual artists will be enjoyed across 30 venues including Southwark Cathedral, Westminster Abbey Green and Methodist Westminster Central Hall.
The UK churches will not be doing all this alone. They are being supported by over 1,500 volunteers, mostly young adults, coming from 40 countries as diverse as Austria, Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, the Czech Republic, Togo, Norway and Jamaica.
If you want to find out what's going on near you, More Than Gold has set up an interactive map showing over 600 events. Please click on www.morethangold.org.uk/map
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