England (MTG/MNN) — There may be an Olympic sales slump in London's West
end, but churches tell a different story when it comes the demand for
Olympic-related Bibles, booklets, and resources.
According to a release from More Than Gold, far from the 2012 Games reducing
sales and interest, it's proving to be a boom to Christian organizations with
something to sell that has an Olympic link.
More Than Gold is taking the opportunity to unite churches in the United Kingdom
due to the 2012 Games taking place in London.
More Than Gold organizes churches, agencies, and volunteers to see that
hospitality and service, every church can help tell a different
story, awaken fresh interest in Christ, and introduce people to Him for
This is especially good news to a consortium of over 20 Christian
agencies that, under the umbrella of More Than Gold, have produced a wide range
of publications to help churches use the Games to reach out to their
One slim-line "mini-mag," with a background to the Games and stories of
athletes that live out their Christian faith, has already sold 200,000 copies.
This is double the number the publisher, "Verite," had expected would be bought.
The mini-mag is being used by churches to give away to those who attend
their Games-related events. Says Verite Director Chris Powell, "Our print run of
100,000 copies was sold out by May, and we had to do a hasty reprint. The demand
has been far beyond our expectations and shows how well the churches have done
in reaching out to those around them."
When it comes to Bibles with a sporty touch, Bible Society's special
editions of Sports Bibles have sold over 8,000 copies — again, with the demand
for a reprint.
These are the Bibles being made available in the chaplaincy area of the
Olympic Village. Whatever the demand may be for them among athletes, there is a
lot of interest across the UK. "Our sports Bibles have done really well," says
Karen Wilson, Production Editor at Bible Society. "They seem to have hit the
right note with people."
The production of a booklet, "On Your Marks" based on St Mark's Gospel, was
launched by its publishers Deo Gloria with the hope of selling 20,000 copies
specifically for the Games. However, they had to reprint an additional 10,000
copies. According to Director Eric Thompson, "The Diamond Jubilee seems to have
warmed people up and started a momentum for churches wanting to reach out
through the Olympic Games."
The consortium of agencies has produced over 50 separate resources with the
total sales estimated to be over 500,000 items. These include resources ranging
from bunting and banners, to DVDs, books and resources for holiday clubs.
The group was coordinated by More Than Gold, the agency set up by the main
denominations to help churches use the 2012 Games to reach out to their
communities and visitors.
David Willson, CEO of More Than Gold said, "This is the largest set of
resources ever made available to help churches respond to the Olympic and
Paralympic Games. We are thrilled to have played a part in helping churches
have the resources they need."