Churches get set for Olympic celebration

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CHURCHES are teaming up to put on an Olympic celebration including a free family fun day and a cafe in the park.

The series of events, which will centre around Hemel Hempstead’s Gadebridge Park, are being backed by more than 20 Hemel Hempstead churches.

Across Hemel 2012 – the name of the week-long event – will run from Saturday, July 21 to Friday, July 27.

Churchgoers put on a similar event with the same name over three days in 2009 and attracted thousands of people.

Justin Thacker, chairman of the organising committee, said: “Churches can become quite inward looking and just focus on the people inside their buildings, we wanted to come together as a group of churches to put something on for the whole community to enjoy. This is not just for people that attend church to enjoy.”

The fun kicks off with a men-only quiz at John F Kennedy School where brain power and physical strength will be put to the test.

A service involving many of Hemel Hempstead’s churches will be held in Gadebridge Park the following morning from 10.30am.

Family fun days are running from Monday, July 23 to Wednesday, July 25 in the park and a holiday club for little ones will be held at South Hill Church in Cemetery Hill.

To mark the start of the Olympic Games – and in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council – a big screen will be erected in the park to show the opening ceremony on Friday, July 27 from 3pm. There will also be sports, games, activities and a low-cost cafe, which will be in the park all week, on offer. A children’s sports day is being held on the afternoon of Thursday, July 26 followed by music and comedy acts during the evening.

Angela Such, another organiser, said: “The churches in Hemel are not about buildings. They’re about community, about people, about the whole of our town. We wanted to put on something for the whole of our community to enjoy. Across Hemel 2012 will be just that.”

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