Churches see 'incredible results' in outreach
Published 13 August 2012 | 2K Plus
More than Gold has seen countless churches across Great Britain use the Games as an opportunity to serve their community.
In doing so, they have hosted a number of activities such as mini-sports tournaments, holiday clubs or simply handing out bottles of water to the public.
Jon Burns attributes the network of More than Gold teams to singlehandedly bringing communities together as well as many underused churches back to life.
“We’ve been deeply encouraged. Churches that went for it have seen incredible results in their community," he says.
“For example, there has been one church in the East End that hosted a holiday club that’s been ram-packed with Muslim kids.
"When we visited the centre, the kids were grabbing our legs and their parents were telling us they want their children to ‘hear this stuff’. It’s been incredible.”
Mr Burns also commended cross-denominational groups for working together and gave the examples of five churches in Gerrards Cross, West London, working together by attracting crowds of 6,500 to watch the opening night on big screens.
Mr Burns explained that his volunteers operated on a ‘traffic light’ system whereby if they are working in a LOCOG or ‘red area’, they simply served the community but if they are in a ‘green area’ otherwise known as a church they were free to talk openly about their faith.
Nowadays church representatives from Rio, the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games, and Toronto, the Canadian city hosting the Pan-American Games in 2015, and Scotland that will be staging the Commonwealth Games in two years’ time, have been discussing how they too can take up the mantle.
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