Thought for the Day - Canon Duncan Green - 27/07/2012
On the train yesterday I sat next to a family with some very excited children who were off on holiday. You couldn’t help being caught up in their sense of excitement and anticipation. I know just how they feel, I keep wanting to say-- Are we there yet?
For the past 5 years as head of Multi faith chaplaincy for the London Organising Committee I have seen the Olympic site grow from a brownfield construction area into a park providing world class sporting facilities and beautiful riverside parkland.
In the East of the park is the Olympic village where thousands of athletes and officials from over 200 nations have moved in during these past 2 weeks in time for tonight’s spectacular opening Ceremony.
Up until a couple of weeks ago the village seemed empty of life, lots of activity but no real buzz, this week that's all changed; it’s come alive as the sun has shone and thousands of young Athletes from all over the world have made it their home, staying in beautiful well equipped rooms and apartments, which in Legacy will provide 2800 new homes.
A state of the art gym and training facility is housed in the new school building, as is the Multi faith Centre.
This is in the heart of the Olympic village, and houses prayer rooms for the different faith communities, a team of over 50 chaplains is on hand; working on shifts to offer spiritual refreshment and help; to support and befriend, and to serve the Games community, which consists of
16 1/2 thousand athletes and officials, and across the games 200,000 staff and volunteers, and reporting it all 20,000 media and broadcasters. We are there for those of all faiths and those with no faith.
St Paul in his letter to the Romans writes, May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another.
I was very moved last week as the Christian chaplains on the team helped their Muslim colleagues prepare a large hall for the first Friday prayers of Ramadan moving over 300 chairs. A young Muslim man who as he left hugged me to say thanks for providing such a facility.
This week I have witnessed young men and women from all over the world living side by side greeting each other, making new friends, laughing and sharing their love of sport.
This is all truly in the Olympic spirit; I pray that the world may watch and learn to live in Harmony.