Memorandum submitted by More Than Gold
In 1996 at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, the
churches joined together to provide service to the event under
the banner of More Than Gold. This was so successful that in 2000
at the Olympic Games in Sydney, More Than Gold was formed and
over 500 churches participated in a range of activities.
More Than Gold member churches met athletes'
families at the airport and transported them to the Samsung Athletes'
Families Hosting Centre. Church members hosted over 50 per cent
of the athletes' families.
Churches provided teams around the venues and
on major footfall areas to do balloon sculpture, face painting,
street theatre and giving out cold water and hot drinks.
More Than Gold had a marquee in Olympic Park
which ensured that all literature was closely controlled and sensitively
distributed. Also, there was a team of people face-painting all
day long, the queues frequently being six deep.
On 19 January 2001, a meeting of all the denominational
leaders and major para-church and church network groups passed
a resolution creating More Than Gold to provide Christian service
to the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
The Rt Rev Christopher Mayfield, Bishop of Manchester
was asked to Chair the Board of Referencethe senior body.
Captain Ivor Telfer (who had visited Sydney to see the work of
More Than Gold) was asked to Chair the Management Board, who would
be responsible for the set-up and implementation of the More Than
Gold ministry. The Christain Olympic Gold Medallist and World-Record
Holder, Jonathan Edwards has agreed to be patron to More Than
Gold and will be visiting Manchester in support of its activities.
3. MEETING WITH
Bishop Christopher Mayfield has maintained frequent
contact with Frances Done for over a year and kept her informed
of steps to form More Than Gold. Following the 19 January 2001
meeting, Frances invited More Than Gold to meet with her and to
tour three of the Games venues. Attending the meeting were the
Bishops of Manchester and Hulme, Rev John BoyersDirector
of SCORE and Manchester United Chaplain, and Captain Ivor Telfer,
Public Relations Director of The Salvation Army and Chair of the
After an update from Frances, the issue of chaplaincy
was discussed. Frances advised that apart from setting aside three
rooms on the first floor of the athletes' village as a chaplaincy
centre, no other work on chaplaincy would be implemented, until
after discussion with Rev John Boyers and Bishop Christopher.
Rev John Boyers, a Chaplain at previous Commonwealth
Games and also a member of the Management Board of More Than Gold,
offered to head-up the multi-faith Chaplaincy programme. This
offer was accepted and Rev Boyers has had follow-up meetings with
the CG2002 Ltd to process the matter further.
3.2 Churches want the Games to be a success
Captain Telfer spoke of More Than Gold (MTG)
in Sydney, of which Frances Done was aware, and advised that MTG,
being reflective of churches in Greater Manchester, would be prepared
to co-ordinate all church input into the Games. The Churches want
the Games in Manchester to be a success in order to:
attract additional economic benefits
to the region;
portray Manchester as a great city
to live and work in.
Due to the church consistently meeting social
need in and around Manchester, the success of the Games will have
a positive benefit to social depreviation and exclusion in the
3.3 What churches can do
In the North-West, over 500,000 people attend
Church every Sunday morning. MTG can use this network to ask for
volunteers for the Games. An office for MTG is being establishednow
agreed as being in Boltonwhich will be staffed by trained
volunteers from churches and MTG will be encouraging local churches
to become involved in their communities by:
holding sports holiday-clubs for
organising big-screen events during
the opening and closing ceremonies and at major times during the
staffing canteens, street-theatre,
balloon sculpture and face-painting at agreed locations around
venues and in major footfall areas;
hosting Chaplains especially those
from developing countries;
hosting athletes' families, should
CG2002 Ltd identify this as a need;
City-centre churches being open for
visitors offering refreshments and an opportunity to see any televised
Frances Done also asked if it would be possible
for MTG to act as a conduit for offers for help from various community
groups who wanted to be involved. MTG advised they would be happy
to discuss this and subsequently MTG has agreed to assist with
this, once their Bolton office is operational, thought to be by
mid April at the latest. Monthly discussions are being held with
CG2002 and MTG on these and many other issues.
Participating churches and para-church organisations
will fund all of the MTG work. Costs for the Chaplaincy programme
will be minimal due to most incoming Chaplains from Commonwealth
countries funding their own costs and due to the churches being
prepared to host chaplains in their congregation.
5. MORE THAN
MTG will "brand" all approved literature
to ensure cultural sensivitity. No Christian groups will be encouraged
to come into the City, or be facilitated work, unless they have
registered with and been approved by MTG. Coporate wear for MTG
with the approved logo is being developed and will be worn by
most of the MTG participants.
6. OTHER FAITHS
MTG exists to provide service to athletes, officials,
spectators, visitors and residents of Greater Manchester, whatever
their creed, colour or sexual orientation. By creating an umbrella
organisation and a brand identity, it is planned that all Christian
outreach and service will be sensitive and will contribute to
the success of the Games Experience for visitors and residents
7. LASTING BENEFIT
With the Sports City development in East Manchester,
MTG has Fr Tim Hopkinsa senior member of the Churches network
in the areaas a member of the Management Board. Fr Hopkins,
the local parish priest, is Chair of the East Manchester Education
Action Zone. Fr Tim writes:
"The Churches in East Manchester have remained
in the heart of the community, serving as a small beacon of hope
throughout the difficult times. Ministers have remained active,
Church leaders resisted the temptation to withdraw resources and
personnel, and the faith communities have remained credible and
reliable supporters of all attempts at regeneration.
Centred on the Commonwealth Games 2002 and its
potential legacy, an unprecedented regeneration is already well
under way. A massive holistic investment programmespanning
some 15 to 20 yearswill see a doubling of the local population
and a return to standards of life as good as, or even better than,
elsewhere in Manchester.
Urban regeneration is now firmly under way, and
the local churches already have significant roles. All are involved
actively in the New Deal for Communities Beacons Partnership,
which is at the forefront of the Government's initiative to tackle
urban decay. Two resident representatives on the Board of Directors
of New East Manchester Limited are members of the local churches:
Rev Tim Presswood is a Baptist minister, Mrs Veronica Powell is
a lay minister in the local Catholic parish. The Church of England
Minister, Rev Roy Chow and the URC Minister, Rev Brian O'Neill
are both engaged in supporting the East Manchester Community Forum
in its work of promoting social cohesion and community capacity-building.
The local faith communities are excited by the prospect of the
Games and the possibilities offered by the co-ordinated and the
proven approach of `More than Gold'. It is a natural extension
involvement in major regeneration schemes and one which should
bring even greater benefits to the whole of the East Manchester
community both in the immediate future and also in the longer
MTG are fully supportive of the excellent work
undertaken by Frances Done and her staff. We are available to
assist wherever possible to ensure the success and lasting benefit
of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
It is our hope that:
the Games will leave a lasting legacy
of increased economic prosperity and growth for poorer areas of
the socially disadvantaged and excluded
will be able to make increased choices and have more control over
the Church will continue to be a
catalyst for moral and physical regeneration.
We will be holding at least two More that Gold
Sundays in the churches throughout the region. At this time we
will specifically direct our prayers to all those involved in
organising this massive event, but please also be assured of the
prayers of many of our congregations throughout the next 17 months.