Ecumenical chaplaincy for Melbourne Commonwealth Games

An Anglican priest will lead a team of 45 volunteers providing religious services at Melbourne's Commonwealth Games Village.

The Herald-Sun reports that police chaplain Rev Jim Pilmer will head a team of spiritual leaders that will include an imam, Buddhist monks, and Hindu and Sikh religious leaders.

The group will lead prayer services and provide pastoral care for the 6000 athletes and officials and 1200 staff who will populate the village at Parkville in March.

Mr Pilmer said he doubted there would be prayers offered for gold medal wins.

"My prayers would be for them to give their best on the day," Mr Pilmer said. "I will pray for them to be able to give their best, and that's a reasonable prayer, I reckon."

A religious centre has been set aside in the residential village, with separate rooms for prayer services of different faiths.

A cross will be brought in from a Christian church for Catholic, Presbyterian and Baptist services, and a statue of Buddha will be carried in for Buddhist services and meditation.

An Islamic prayer room with separate areas for men and women has been set up, with separate foot-washing areas, in keeping with the Muslim faith.

Mr Pilmer said holy communion and masses would be held each day, and he expected holy days within each faith would fall within the time the village was populated.

On your marks, get set... pray (Herald-Sun 14/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Melbourne 2006 - XVIII Commonwealth Games

Pope prays that Olympic Games may contribute to 'peace among peoples' (Catholic News Agency 13/2/06)
Olympic visitors invited to see Turin's Churches (catholicireland.net 13/2/06)
Papal blessing for Olympic games (Catholic World News 13/2/06)
Olympians Welcomed With the Word (Zenit 12/2/06)

14 Feb 2006