London 2012 Olympics: 800 'Games Pastors' Will Offer Practical, Spiritual Help

(More Than Gold, UK)A 'Games Pastor' helps a traveler in a test run ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

More than 800 "Games Pastors" from churches in the UK will provide practical and spiritual support to visitors to the 2012 London Olympics as part of an ecumenical initiative.

Help will involve volunteers that will staff hospitality centers, providing rest for tired feet, free internet access, free tea, coffee or water, information and prayer and advice, UK charity More Than Gold told the Episcopal News Service.

The group, which says it has been providing help to visitors through churches under the organization's name since the 1996 Atlanta Games, is helping UK churches to do so this year.

"There will be many lost, confused, and lonely people coming through London during the Games," said David Wilson, chief executive of More Than Gold. "These Games Pastors are going to be a lifeline for them, which makes this a great opportunity for Christian service."

Among the group's sponsors are 60 Denominations and Christian agencies. These include the Church of England, The Methodist Church in Britain, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the United Reform Church, the Salvation Army, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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