The Aegies Associates News & Blog Section
Stockton Riverside celebrated the arrival of the Olympic Torch with the passing of a Prayer Baton to The Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham. The Bishop then said prayers specially composed for the occasion, sending blessing and prayers from the Church of England Diocese of Durham across the waters to the people of the neighbouring Diocese of York.
The Prayer Baton was passed by Bishop Justin to the Revd Nick Barr-Hamilton of St Barnabus Lynthorpe. Bishop Justin received it from the Revd Jon Burns of Stockton after it travelled throughout the Diocese following the Olympic Torch. The Baton was passed to Durham Diocese by The Right Revd Martin Wharton, Bishop of Newcastle at an event at St Nicholas Cathedral marking the end of the Olympic Torch visit to Newcastle Diocese.
Organised by More Than Gold, the churches' response to the London 2012 Olympics, the Prayer Baton is part of a 70-day cascade of creative prayer the length and breadth of our land.
The Prayer Relay is tracking the same dates and route as the official Torch Relay as a way for individuals and churches to pray for their communities, the Games and the nations.
The Prayer Baton contains prayers and blessings from the previous city that the Olympic Torch has visited en route. These are read and new prayers and blessings are placed inside the baton ready to be passed on to the next city.
Bishop Justin said: “We are delighted that the Church in Durham Diocese has been able to play our part in the welcoming of the Olympic Torch and Prayer Baton. The spirit of community engagement that is demonstrated by both the Torch and the Prayer Baton Relays is simply fantastic and shows that as a society we can come together for the common good and celebrate as one. For the Church of England and particularly for Churches in the North East, this has been a great opportunity for us to engage with the wider community in a shared celebration of our national life within the context of Christian Prayer.”
Among the prayers being said were those commissioned by the Church of England for the Olympic Torch relay.