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Home > Action Zones > Sport and Health > Open top praise bus to travel Olympic Torch route

Open top praise bus to travel Olympic Torch route

torch flame
Making the journey between most of the seventy overnight stops of the Olympic Torch relay will be an open top praise bus. This huge undertaking is an initiative of one small Methodist church, Escalls Chapel, just three miles from Lands End.

The bus will travel from location to location on the same day as the Olympic Torch itself. Worship bands and Christian music groups will provide ‘an unbroken symphony of praise’.

The praise bus is part of More Than Gold’s 70 day cascade of prayer that follows the route of the Torch Relay, encouraging churches to pray for their communities and the nations.

This ambitious praise bus project is the vision Tina Bonfieid, a member of Escalls Chapel which is the last outpost of Methodism on the British mainland.

Tina says, ‘When I heard of the plans for the Olympic Torch, two visions I’d had at last made sense. I had seen a flame going from Lands End all over the UK – and learned others had seen something similar. Then I’d seen Jesus on an open top bus travelling along. On hearing the Olympic Flame was to start from Lands End and travel through over a thousand communities I knew it was related to what I’d seen’.

As a result, Tina took the idea of a praise bus to her church and recalls, ‘They agreed to the project with the least fuss I have ever experienced in a church meeting’.

Tina recognises that taking the bus on a seventy day journey, for which local bands and overnight accommodation are needed, present a huge logistic challenge. But, she says, ‘I feel no fear. From the beginning it has felt like building the Ark. The Lord has to do miracles; it is his job to get everything we need in place. We just have to be obedient.’

Leading More Than Gold’s response to the Olympic Torch relay is Sarah-Jane Alley of the Salvation Army who says, ‘'The Olympic Torch Relay gives churches everywhere a chance to be a part of the Games and the Praise Bus is a great way to get involved through both worship and hospitality. ‘

Tina and her small team are looking bands, solo performers, choirs and groups willing to play for a day, or part of a day, as the bus comes to their area. And overnight accommodation for about six people at each stop. They can be contacted at