Churches on route of the Grand Depart to make themselves stand out next summer (From The Northern Echo)
For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Churches on route of the Grand Depart to make themselves stand out next summer
CHURCH leaders and congregations intend to pull out all the stops to show off their buildings during the Tour de France Grand Depart next summer.
During a 100-day cultural festival starting in March 2014, it is hoped church bells on the tour route will be rung in sequence, and on the tour weekend itself churches will be adorned with yellow banners, flowers and even yellow bicycles suspended from church roofs.
At a meeting in Christ Church, Harrogate on Monday (Sept 30), more than 180 church leaders from as far as Holmfirth, Keld, Kettlewell and York shared ideas, with Welcome to Yorkshire representative Dee Marshall present to help with inspiration and practical advice.
Canon John Carter, communications officer for the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, said: “The fact that so many people travelled to come to the meeting shows a great enthusiasm from many different churches to get on board.
“We had not only Anglican churches but Methodist, URC, Baptist, free churches and Roman Catholic churches represented and lots of positive and innovative ideas which we will be sharing over the coming weeks and months.
"The eyes of the world will be on Yorkshire and churches have a tremendous opportunity to show hospitality, creativity and welcome to visitors.
“Helicopters will be filming some of our most beautiful and historic buildings from above and we want to be able to say something not only about their history but about the living communities each of these churches represents."
Ms Marshall from Welcome to Yorkshire said: “It was a great meeting with a lot of enthusiasm from those who attended.
“The Grand Départ will put Yorkshire on the map for a new global audience and is a great opportunity for places of worship along the route and around the county to be creative and showcase themselves to the millions of people lining the routes and the hundreds of millions watching the television coverage.”
Some congregations are already making plans to include hospitality and free parking, hold festivals, create major displays and to suspend bicycles from church towers.
Other ideas included having large screens, brass bands, hog roasts, pop-up tea shops, children’s events, open-air church services and the provision of extra camping areas for visitors.
Comments are closed on this article.