Last Thursday (4 November) there were two meetings at Leyton Orient Football Club organised by the Christian organisation More Than Gold for church leaders and representatives across the London and South East area. These events were part of their Nationwide Vision Tour.
Tim Harrold went on behalf of Transformation Thurrock to the lunchtime event. Jonathan Oloyede of Global Day of Prayer London was present to lead prayer, as was Matthew Porter of Transform Newham, who made a short address about what how church in his borough is responding to the challenge and opportunity of being hosts to the Olympics.
The BBC were present and on Tuesday 9 November a short piece appeared on the evening London local news. It showed everyone praying out of the venue’s windows towards the Olympic Park, and the back of Tim’s head made a brief appearance.
STOP PRESS: sent from Jane Holloway at For England Together – BBC London local TV news ran a great piece on More Than Gold yesterday at 6.30. Here’s the link to it – which is available to everyone – and the blog of the journalist responsible:
During the 90 minute briefing, Tim was able to:
More Than Gold has now been involved in the Olympic and Paralympic events at Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), as well as Winter Olympics’ events too.
After the presentation, Tim was able to join a tour of the Olympic site, viewing the park from the so-called View Tube at Pudding Mill Lane.
Thurrock is of course just up the road or a short train ride from the London 2012 Olympics. There will be official training camps in Basildon and Brentwood, and the mountain biking events are being held at Hadleigh Castle (the Langdon Hills were considered).
Whilst Thurrock itself is not hosting any of the Olympic events, the collective church of our borough can engage fully in what will be the greatest opportunity to reach the nation and nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ in a lifetime.
This includes the historical, independent and ethnic expressions of the Christian faith – as people will be coming to the UK from across the entire globe. The Olympics provide a unique opportunity for the church across the country in every city, borough, town and village to work as one on local-appropriate Holy Spirit-inspired ideas. These can be incorporated into existing and currently emerging borough-wide initiatives such as UNITE 30/31, Thurrock Epicentre, and the proposed community festivals on the Pentecost Sundays – also Global Days of Prayer – this year and next.
2012 is also significant for being the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Jubilee – now there’s a good, solid Biblical word, heavy with meaning, accompanied by national celebration.
There are three main strands to the London 2012 Olympics which can be provide this inspiration for local activities…
The London 2012 Olympics Torch Relay
It’s just 555 days until the Olympic Torch lands on UK territory and begins its journey around the nation (starting 18 May 2012). The flame will have been kindled on Mount Olympus in Greece – home to the ‘gods’ – and will be displayed at key locations as a symbol of world peace. This is an Olympic ‘tradition’ that goes all the way back to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin – yes, the original Olympic torch run was a Nazi idea.
The Torch Relay will take 70 days to go around the UK, involving 8000 Torchbearers. It’s claimed by organisers that 95% of the nation will be within a one hour journey time of the Torch Relay. The route of the Relay isn’t yet published.
What can Thurrock do?
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad
It’s 589 days until the start of the “Festival 2012” on 21 June 2012. This will last from Midsummer’s Day until the final night of the London 2012 Paralympics on 9 September.
It’s a 12-week celebration across the whole of the UK – a once-in-a-lifetime festival which will together leading artists from all over the world. Special taster events will be taking place in early 2012.
Organisers say that, “at the heart of the festival will be a programme of commissions by some of the finest artists in the world in events ranging from pop to film, from visual arts and fashion to theatre, from circus to carnival, from opera to digital innovation.”
What can Thurrock do?
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics
And it’s 625 days until the beginning of the London 2012 Olympics itself, from 27 July to 12 August. The Paralympics is from 29 August until 9 September.
At the Olympics there’ll be 20,000 athletes competing in 26 Olympic sports; 6000 coaches and officials; served by a restaurant seating 12,000 people. The Paralympics will see 4000 athletes compete in 20 events. Behind the scenes there’ll be 20,000 people working for the media.
What can Thurrock do?
Become a More Than Gold representative – or ‘Gold Champion’ – for your church. Your role is to –
Gold Champions receive their own dedicated eNewsupdate and invitations to special briefings so they are always in touch and can share ideas and information with each other. See more at:
More Than Gold on YouTube
Olympic Torch Relay – http://www.london2012.com/press/media-releases/2010/05/london-2012-outlines-vision-for-welcoming-the-olympic-flame-to-the-uk.php
Other helpful websites
Transformation Thurrock is promoting More Than Gold and is the Gold Champion for the whole borough.
At this week’s Grays Leaders Prayer Breakfast on Friday, the More Than Gold promotional video will be shown.
Christian organisations supporting More Than Gold and working in unity:
Pictures, top to bottom: