A Baptist Church and the Great British Rowing Team
A Baptist church hosted a number of Great Britain's Olympic rowers during the Olympics - and even caught sight of a gold medal
Dedworth Green Baptist Church in Windsor opened its building at the request of British Rowing during the Olympics last month. The church is just half a mile from Eton Dorney Lake, the venue for the rowing, and GB asked if it could be as a safe haven where the GB Rowing Team could meet with their friends and families after the completion of each day's event, away from public gaze and press attention.
During the week, a steady stream of families and competitors came to the church for some peace and quiet and a place to relax. The church provided small hospitality teams who served drinks and refreshments.
Visitors included gold medallists Kath Grainger, Kat Copeland and Heather Stanning, silver medallist Zac Purchase.
Mostly they dropped by during the early stages of the competition, but Heather caused much excitement by turning up with her gold medal just after her triumph in the coxless pairs with Helen Glover.
Minister the Revd Matthew Scott said it was an opportunity 'to show God's love through hospitality' - and seemed to be well received.
'Several times I heard the words "this is just what we needed," alongside genuine and heartfelt appreciation of the service provided by volunteers in the kitchen,' he explained.
'As the athletes accepted our hospitality, I trust that they encountered something of God's love in a meaningful and significant way.
'As for ourselves, we have certainly learned that we can sustain a significant ministry through hospitality and need to reflect on how we might apply this experience in our local community.'