Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


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 Reference—the 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.


  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 Boyers—Director of SCORE and Manchester United Chaplain, and Captain Ivor Telfer, Public Relations Director of The Salvation Army and Chair of the Management Board.

3.1  Chaplaincy

  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 City.

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 established—now agreed as being in Bolton—which 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 local children;

    —  organising big-screen events during the opening and closing ceremonies and at major times during the Games;

    —  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 coverage.

  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.


  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.


  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 alike.


  With the Sports City development in East Manchester, MTG has Fr Tim Hopkins—a senior member of the Churches network in the area—as 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 programme—spanning some 15 to 20 years—will 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 term."


  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 region;

    —  the socially disadvantaged and excluded will be able to make increased choices and have more control over their environment;

    —  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.

March 2001

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