Olympic spirit alive in Whaley Bridge
As the Olympic Games is about to get underway in London and around the UK, one local parish is reflecting on two small events which inspired young and old alike just recently. STEPHEN REGAN reports...
Olympic torches played key parts on successive Sundays at Whaley Bridge, in the north-east of our diocese. Children made – and played with – cardboard torches at a 'Messy Church' event at Holy Trinity Church.
Messy Church is a fresh way of ‘doing church’ and building a Christ-centred community. It usually involves a once-a-month time of creativity, worship and eating together for grown-ups and youngsters.
Three-year-old Megan Morten got into the Olympic spirit at the event at Holy Trinity Church, Buxton Road, Whaley Bridge – (pictured right).
A week later, at the sister church of St James in the village of Taxal, a real torch was brought to a special service for visiting Scouts. The 161st Manchester group, from inner city Cheetham Hill, were camping in the area for the 93rd year.
In recent years the church has welcomed the Manchester lads - and lasses - to a service, followed by tea and biscuits. Les Cowel (pictured below), district commissioner for North Manchester, brought along to church the same shining torch he had carried through Bury, Lancashire, earlier in the summer as part of the Olympics relay.
Standing at the lectern at St James’ Church Les he told the congregation that the 8,000 holes in each torch represented the number of miles the flame travelled in Britain, carried by 8,000 different people.
The triangular-shaped top, where the flame came out, represented the three times London has hosted the Olympics. During the final hymn, Give Me Joy in My Heart, the last verse was changed to ‘give me oil in my torch’ … instead of lamp.