The Church is supporting plans to make the 2014 Commonwealth Games a Christian as well as athletic celebration.

In a report to be put before the General Assembly today, Tuesday May 21, the Convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council the Rev Colin Sinclair will say how The Council has continued its support for the ecumenical ‘More Than Gold’ charity in co-operation with the Presbytery of Glasgow.

This will ensure the Church is represented at the Commonwealth Games through its funding support of a staff member and the participation of one of the Mission Development workers.

The importance of the spiritual aspect of the opportunity to welcome visitors from all over the Commonwealth has been recognised and the Council is confident an effective and creative programme of support and outreach will be offered to all at 2014.

“This is a fantastic chance for the Church of Scotland, the nation’s national church, to be involved in the biggest sporting event the country has staged for more than 30 years,” said Mr Sinclair.

“We will help welcome 6500 athletes and officials from 71 nations, 15,000 volunteers making the games happen and of course the tens of thousands of visitors to Scotland from across the Commonwealth,” he said.

The aim of More Than Gold 2014 is to enable Christians and churches, working together, to serve their communities, the city of Glasgow and the larger Commonwealth Games family. It seeks to mobilise the Christian community to serve through generous hospitality, social care, outreach and active prayer, demonstrating the relevance of the church today and leaving a legacy of Christian love beyond the 2014 Games.

More Than Gold 2014 will build on the success of its namesake at the London 2012 Olympics  aims to mobilise and enable the church across Scotland to work together to serve their communities, the city of Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games through:

  • Genuine and generous Christian hospitality in different forms, from simply offering free cups of water to potentially providing hundreds of ‘homestays’ for athletes’ families and much in between.
  • Helping to provide opportunities to mobilise the many thousands of individuals who are part of Christian communities via the churches network by providing service and volunteering to the Games organisers.
  • Pastoral or chaplaincy support linked to the Games organisers needs, including helping where possible with action in support of the social issues which will be highlighted by the Games.
  • Providing quality entertainment via big screen family events in churches and their halls, Christian performing arts entertainment, other festival events and creative arts.
  • Encouraging Christian communities to use the Games to develop sports opportunities for children and young people through clubs, activities, schools and camps.
  • A rallying call to the Churches to pray for the success of the event and for all those involved including athletes, organisers, support agencies such as the police, fire and ambulance personnel, plus the wider public and the Commonwealth Games family.

More Than Gold 2014 believes that this will help build a legacy of cooperation and Christian love beyond 2014 in the city of Glasgow.

More information on the project is available on the website www.morethangold.org.uk

• Full story at the Church of Scotland.