As many churches across London have spent the bank holiday celebrating with their community by joining in a Big Lunch, or welcoming their thousands of visitors for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, More than Gold have released two new resources to help planning for similar events during the Games.
‘Open Crowd’ Community Festivals
I wrote about Comunity Festivals last summer, in this article which gives a background to their aims. More than Gold say:
There is still time to organise an community festival – for Opening night, during the Olympics, Closing night or during the Paralympics. A step by step guide on how to set up a community festival in 7 weeks for up to 500 people has just been released.
We are aware of many churches that know they want to seize the opportunity of the Games – some have been inspired by what has happened during the Queen’s Jubilee,’ said Marty Woods, festivals team leader of More Than Gold. ‘So we want to give them all the help and advice they need to start from scratch and still be ready in time.
The wisdom and help is all the work of the specialist agency Fusion Youth and Community. The cost to download is just £12. There is also a free helpline with extra advice.
‘It’s not too late,’ stresses Marty Woods. ‘There’s nothing stopping any church from using the Olympics to engage with their community and build relationships of trust for the years to come’.
The step by step guide to a festival is available at www.fusionyac.org/2012 at a cost of £12, while some useful documents are available at this website for free download.
A Hospitality Centre is somewhere for visitors to take the weight of their feet, find a welcome and some refreshment, receive advice and help – including prayer, see the Games on a larger screen or access the internet.
For churches that have their buildings in just the right place, the Games offer a wonderful opportunity to open them as a Hospitality Centre. Hospitality Centres need to be very close to where visitors to the Games will pass or gather. These could be near pedestrian walkways, transport hubs, park-and-ride areas or near the Games sites and Torch Relay route.
The centre doesn’t have to be a church building. It might be an empty shop or other facility. For all you need to know on how to set up and run Hospitality Centre go here.
I hope these new resources help to equip you for your plans during the Olympics and Paralympics. Please stay in touch (Email: elizabeth.harrison [at] london.anglican.org) and let me know what you’re planning, so I can better support you.