(Photo: Reuters/John Kolesidis)
Churches are being asked to pray during the 70-day Olympic Games torch relay when it gets underway in England this Saturday.
The Olympic torch begins its journey at Land's End in Cornwall, south-west England and will tour the length and breadth of the country before arriving at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27.
The torch will travel through 1,000 English towns, cities and villages during its tour.
Open air prayer meetings are being organized at the 70 official stops on the route by 7:14 and Kingdom Come 2012 by Alpha and 24-7 Prayer.
There will also be a praise bus carrying worshipping singers and musicians that will travel along the route ahead of the torch's arrival.
More than Gold, the umbrella group for church outreach during the Olympics, is encouraging as many Christians as possible to join the prayer events or simply be a "prayer presence" in their communities during the torch relay.
Jane Holloway, chair of the More than Gold prayer team said: "The Olympic torch journey will pass through over a thousand communities.
"We would like it to inspire a cascade of prayer and praise – with individuals and churches taking time to pray, alone and together, as it travels through their area."
There will also be a physical prayer relay between the 70 locations where the Olympic torch stops overnight.
Christian leaders will receive prayers of blessing from churches where the torch has just been and then pass them on to those in the next location.
The prayer relay also starts in Land's End and will be joined by church leaders, including the Bishop of Truro. Other church leaders involved in "prayer blessing exchanges" in their areas are the Bishops of Durham, Newcastle and Whitby.
Confirmed venues include Berwick Bridge, Plymouth's Freedom Park, and Newcastle and Liverpool Cathedrals.
More than Gold has produced a free guide, "Praying During the 70-Day Prayer Relay", which can be found at www.morethangold.org.uk