Yesterday (Tuesday 28 February), just eight local church representatives gathered at Socketts Heath Baptist Church for the Champions Lunch to discuss Thurrock’s church’s response to the London 2012 Games.Present were:
hosting, Ashley Lovett (Gold Champion, pastor at Socketts Heath Baptists)
Colin Baker (Gold Champion, pastor at Grays Baptists)
John Ironmonger (Gold Champion, West Thurrock Chapel)
Ben Odeje (Gold Champion, Fruitful Land, Tilbury)
Tim Harrold (Borough Champion, Transformation Thurrock)
First up was lunch, a choice between chicken casserole or lasagne, all superbly cooked by Beryl with help from James and Charlotte. Their hospitality was truly more than gold! Thank you.
On the agenda was to for Tim to give a rundown of up-and-coming More Than Gold events and related local prayer initiatives. He began by emphasising the lessons learned from the Vancouver Winter Olympics of two years ago – that the churches who got involved became part of a national awakening and celebration of its identity through serving the other visiting nations; and that the churches that didn’t get involved until it was too late, regret missing the opportunity to serve and show Christ’s love in their communities. The hope of that small group around the table is that this will not be said of Thurrock.
Ashley talked about the More Than Gold Holiday Club initiative, which is gaining some momentum in the planning, with two venues now confirmed (Thames Rugby Club in Aveley and St Clere’s School in Stanford). The club will take place over five days in the lead up to the Olympics’ opening ceremony, all Christians across the borough are invited to help out on those days. Other local sports-related entities and schemes will be also invited to take part.
A lot of lively discussion was had about all of these things, with new ideas emerging and different bits of advice coming through. Some of the things decided to develop are:
creating a Press Release to highlight church’s activities during the Games’ period
promote church’s involvement in the Council’s bunting project (for the Torch Relay)
include Big Picnic into MTG Holiday Club week somehow
pull churches in who are on or in the vicinity of what maybe the Torch Relay route
run the More Than Gold Sports Quiz in venues across the borough (maybe raising funds for Foodbank at the same time)
look into availability of Diamond Jubilee quiz
promote The Big Lunch
develop a corporate image (on tee shirts? TT?) for the day of the Torch Relay
continue to promote
the availability of Mission Teams
the Athletes’ Families’ Homestay Scheme (hospitality for visitors from poorer nations)
the urgent need for more Games Pastors
Information about the last three items are available elsewhere on this website (see links to left of this page).