Churches to ring bells and pray for Olympics
Churches are being called upon by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to ring bells for three minutes at 8.12am on 27 July, the day the Olympics begin.
Many church organisations have responded positively to the request and are calling on their congregations to pray for the nation in addition to the bell ringing.
Jane Holloway from ‘The World Prayer Centre’ is inviting everyone in the UK to pray as the bells ring out on 27 July. She said:
“We feel this is a very significant moment and want to invite everyone to pray wherever they are on that day! We long to see a spiritual turning in our nation.”
Rev Ian Bunce, the head of mission for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, stated:
"This is an opportunity to be part of a prophetic act, a turning point which will shape the future of our nation.
“Let's make a noise, talk about God, pray for peace, pray for reconciliation and commit to love God's world and his people."
James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator for the 2012 Games, said:
"It is hoped that there will be widespread international reports of church bells ringing out reminding the British Isles and the rest of the globe of Britain’s Christian roots.”
A spokesman for the Salvation Army stated:
"London 2012 has presented the churches and the nation with a wonderful opportunity for positive community engagement. The Salvation Army is delighted to join with this initiative to pray for success and safety for all involved."
‘More Than Gold’, an organisation helping lead the Christian outreach during the Olympics, has called on all churches to pray as the bells ring "for God’s Kingdom to come and for a turning to come in our nations".
For More Than Gold, this will also be a final celebration of the Olympic torch prayer relay which has been going on over the past 2 months. More Than Gold ran a 70-day prayer relay accompanying the Olympic torch as it made its way through UK cities and towns.
As the Olympic torch has progressed along its relay, batons with prayers have been passed through communities, and individuals and churches have taken the opportunity to pray for the Games and all those involved, and for their own communities.