Lord Mawhinney fires up Methodists for the 2012 Olympics

The Rt Hon Lord Mawhinney Kt told the Methodist Conference thatthe 2012 Games will be a once in a lifetime opportunity forChurches to engage in the largest logistical event in peacetimeBritain.

Speaking at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre today, thechairman of More Than Gold backed the Methodist Church's responseto the Olympics and Paralympics. Lord Mawhinney said that next yearwill provide the single biggest opportunity for people to see whatJesus can do in communities.

"The Olympics creates an opportunity for all of us in ourcommunities," said Lord Mawhinney, former cabinet minister andcurrent Honorary President of the Football League. "It will providea once in a lifetime opportunity for churches, either separately ortogether, to serve their local communities thereby witnessing tothe power of the Christian Gospel. Next year this country is goingto be totally bombarded with sport. The choice is not complicated:either be part of it or barricade yourself off from the rest of thecountry for a few months. And we don't do barricades as Christians.More Than God's job is to inspire, encourage and train churchworkers. We are facilitators. We are going to make ithappen."

Ish Lennox, Olympic and Paralympic Coordinator for the MethodistChurch, is a member of the More Than Gold executive; the umbrellagroup for Christian outreach during the Games. "Now is the time forchurches to get involved in what's happening," she said. "Churchesneed to appoint a Gold Champion to find out all the latest news andthere are lots of resources out there that can help. The Games arean exciting mission and discipleship opportunity that we cannotafford to miss. The Shetland district is already engaged and theyare the furthest from any of the Olympic venues - other districtscan engage too as the Games take place across the country."

Gold Champions act as a link between More Than Gold and churches.They receive dedicated eNews updates and invitations to briefings.People can sign up to become Gold Champions by emailingGames@methodistchurch.org.uk and find out about resources via theMore Than Gold resources website.