The Bridge United Reformed Church in the Yorkshire market town of Otley is celebrating the silver medal won by Lizzie Armitstead in the Women's Road Race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Lizzie grew up as part of the Bridge Church family where she was in Junior Church and the Bridge Church Scout Group. Her parents, John and Carol, are church members and Lizzie's grandfather, the Revd Jeff Armitstead is a retired URC minister.
The Bishop of London, as chair of the London Church Leaders, and on behalf of the other denominations, has issued this statement of welcome to all athletes and visitors coming to London for the 2012 Games. It is hoped that these welcoming words will also be present in the multi-faith chaplaincy centre at the Olympic Village.
“We believe every human being to be ultimately a pilgrim in search of truth, goodness and the fulfillment of potential. When this pilgrimage is lived out authentically, it opens the path to dialogue with the other, excluding no one while committing everyone to building a fraternity of peace.
As the 2012 Games gets underway, churches across the UK are about to set their own record – for the highest ever level of involvement in the Olympics.
Thousands of churches are running events for their communities. These include large screen festivals – with a total estimated attendance of 500,000 people – Family Fundays, children’s clubs, street parties, quiz nights, community cafés, and special church celebrations and Holiday at Home activities for those who are housebound.
To mark the opening of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games this Friday, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) is calling for thousands of bells to be rung across our nations. The mass bell ringing on Friday morning will start at 8.12am and will last for just three minutes – LOCOG are encouraging the tolling of “any bell, anyone, anytime” and the hope is that bells of all sizes – from church bells to hand bells – will be rung the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
More Than Gold, the agency helping churches make the most of the Games, is calling on Christians and churches everywhere to join in and use the time to stop and pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom.