Gold Rush Olympics - St Bride's: Reflection

St Bride's: Sermons

Gold Rush Olympics

This summer we British have surprised ourselves. It makes a change for us to be winning things and we certainly hit a winning streak at this year's Olympic Games in Beijing. Our tally of medals and the success of our athletes helped to lift the spirits during a dismal August beset by poor weather and the credit crunch.

Our excellent results provide a wonderful springboard for the preparations of the next four years leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London, and have woken the nation up to the excitement and potential of this magnificent sporting event.

Here at St. Bride's, we have another reason for focusing on the next Olympic Games. In 2012, in addition to all the athletes and spectators, there will be over 20,000 journalists converging on London and other parts of the country to cover the Games. This offers a marvellous opportunity for St. Bride's Church, spiritual home for journalists across the world, to co-ordinate a programme of activities, specifically aimed at journalists, to help them feel welcome and at home in London. They will be from many different cultures and faith backgrounds, and although many of their needs will be taken care of, we feel we can add some real value, both spiritual and practical for those who may be far from families and friends. The kind of ministry we have in mind would be aimed primarily at a those journalists who feel a need for some spiritual and social support while they are in this country, and could include church services, a dedicated chaplain within the media village, provision of a quiet space for prayer and reflection, and a social and cultural programme.

Our ideas are still at the early stages of development and we want to begin by asking journalists themselves what they would most value. I don't believe this kind of specialised ministry has been laid on at any previous Olympic Games, but I believe it will have real merit if we get it right.

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