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Olympics and Church of England

Olympics and Church of England

The Communications Update from the Church of England encourages members to share their stories of the church and the Olympics as the games begin. Episcopal Café has one to share by Margaret Treadwell in Daily Episcopalian today.


Welcome for Wenlock

(23rd July 2012)

From 20 July until 15 August, Southwark Cathedral is hosting its very own official Wenlock Games mascot. Based in the Millennium Courtyard, it has been created and personalised by the company iris; it has a stained glass motif, reflecting its historical setting, and is inspired by the Diamond Jubilee window for The Queen, installed in the Cathedral last month.wenlock-and-the-dean.jpg

To welcome Wenlock, the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, said: “We are excited by the Olympics and the opportunity to welcome people from across the globe to this historic area of Southwark. I would like to invite anyone to turn up and to have their picture taken with our Wenlock, day or night.”

Hundreds of churches are preparing for the Olympics and Para-Olympics:

Canon Duncan Green, CofE Olympics Coordinator and LOCOG’s Head of Multi Faith Chaplaincy Services, said: “The Church of England is making a massive commitment to the Games. It is very exciting to see so many Games-related outreach projects planned throughout the country. The Church will come into contact with many thousands of people through these exciting initiatives.”

The details are a sample of how Church of England churches are organising or supporting community initiatives.

Websites resources

The Church of England has an area of its national website encouraging churches to engage with the Games, which includes resources, links, new prayers, and special liturgy for use during the Games. The homepage of this area has so far been viewed more than 3,400 times. Most CofE dioceses have their own Games-related website areas.

Games news and events from Chelmsford Diocese

London

Church of England Olympic storyboard.

More Than Gold

The Church of England is a sponsor of More Than Gold – an ecumenical initiative helping churches serve their communities and international visitors through the 2012 Games. Hundreds of Anglican churches are working with those of other denominations to host special events in their area and to host the families of competitors. There are currently more than 600 More Than Gold ‘champions’ organising activities in CofE churches.

Chaplaincy

The Church of England has its own Olympics Co-ordinator, Canon Duncan Green, who is also seconded to LOCOG as Head of Multi Faith Chaplaincy Services. For the past five years, Duncan’s role has included advising the organising committee on faith matters and recruiting and managing 193 multi-faith chaplains to serve 23,500 athletes and officials, 26,000 reporters and broadcasters and 200,000 staff and volunteers. Canon Duncan Green also supports and resources officers in the dioceses working to promote the mission and outreach opportunities afforded by the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Prayer

Many churches are taking inspiration from the Olympics to focus on prayer. In advance of ‘sailing event fortnight’ (29 July to 12 August), local churches are organising a 13-mile run on 28 April from Dorchester to Easton on Portland, praying for God to touch each neighbourhood passed through. This is being organised by the ecumenical organisation Refresh 2012, of which the Diocese of Salisbury is part. …

Exhibitions

One example: Ben Dearnley brings his Avenue of Champions to Salisbury Cathedral for three months (23 June – 16 September) to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. His sculptures focus on the ‘power zones’ of up to 15 of some of the UK’s past and current Olympic and Paralympic champions and are sculpted in the timeless materials of bronze and marble.

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