With less than two years to go, British churches are being urged to start formulating plans to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics.

The umbrella organization More Than Gold, which was set up in 2008 to enable churches to engage with the London Games, is stepping up its communication with churches about the potential for 2012.

In terms of what can be done, the earlier the better, said Peter Meadows, More Than Gold’s communications director.

“The danger is if people leave it to the last minute,” Meadows told The Baptist Times. “The best work is done if people plan ahead.

“We would apply the words Lord Coe used for the Olympics to More Than Gold itself – we are comfortably on track but people need to sign up now and not leave it until it is too late.”

Since its formation in the United Kingdom, the More Than Gold movement has been building support among denominations and other major Christian organizations. Now that all this is in place, momentum among churches can be built up.

“We have deliberately held off major engagement with the churches until after what we knew would be a flurry of activity to mark the two-years-to-go moment,” Meadows said.

“Until now we have been building support structures and, as a result, have all the main denominations on board as well as over 60 agencies.”

More Than Gold is hosting a series of regional briefings throughout autumn to explain how churches have responded at past games and identify the most appropriate response for United Kingdom churches next time around. Churches are encouraged to nominate a More Than Gold representative (a “Gold Champion”) to channel information to their congregation and keep abreast of More Than Gold developments.

Denominations are also set to communicate the London 2012 possibilities to their individual churches. The Baptist Union of Great Britain, which has already published information about More Than Gold in various newsletters, “is ahead of the game,” along with the Salvation Army, Meadows said.

“When it (London 2012) happens, the majority of people in the U.K. will be plugged into the event,” he said. “This is an opportunity for churches to play their part in the programs of outreach, hospitality and service and reach their community in fresh ways.”

For more details, visit More Than Gold’s website.

This article appeared originally in The Baptist Times of Great Britain.

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