No Olympic slump in sales of Bibles on London’s high streets
By Michael Ireland
(ANS) – There may be an Olympic sales slump in London’s West end, but churches tell a different story when it comes the demand for Olympic-related Bibles, booklets and resources.
Far from the 2012 Games reducing sales and interest, it’s proving to be a boom to Christian organizations with something to sell that has an Olympic link, according to More Than Gold.
The ministry says this is especially good news to a consortium of over twenty Christian agencies that, under the umbrella of More Than Gold, have produced a wide range of publications to help churches use the Games to reach out to their communities.
The More Than Gold website says one slim-line ‘mini-mag’, with a background to the Games and stories of athletes that live out their Christian faith, has already sold 200,000 copies. This is double the number the publisher, Verite, had expected would be bought.
More Than Gold says the mini-mag is being used by churches to give away to those who attend their Games-related events.
Chris Powell, Director of Verite, says: “Our print run of 100,000 copies was sold out by May and we had to do a hasty reprint. The demand has been far beyond our expectations and shows how well the churches have done in reaching out to those around them.”
When it comes to Bibles with a sporty touch, More Than Gold says the Bible Society’s special editions of Sports Bibles have sold over 8,000 copies – again with the demand for a reprint.
The More Than Gold website states these are the Bibles being made available in the chaplaincy area of the Olympic Village. Whatever the demand may be for them among athletes, there is a lot of interest across the UK.
“Our sports Bibles have done really well,” says Karen Wilson, Production Editor at Bible Society. “They seem to have hit the right note with people.”
More Than Gold goes on to say the production of a booklet, On Your Marks, based on St Mark’s Gospel was launched by its publishers Deo Gloria with the hope of selling 20,000 copies specifically for the Games. However, they had to reprint a further 10,000 copies.
According to Director Eric Thompson, “The Diamond Jubilee seems to have warmed people up and started a momentum for churches wanting to reach out through the Olympic Games”
More Than Gold explains the consortium of agencies has produced over 50 separate resources with the total sales estimated to be over 500,000 items. These include resources ranging from bunting and banners, to DVDs, books and resources for holiday clubs.
The group was coordinated by More Than Gold, the agency set up by the main denominations to help churches use the 2012 Games to reach out to their communities and visitors.
David Willson, CEO of More Than Gold said, “This is the largest set of resources ever made available to help churches respond to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are thrilled to have played a part in helping churches have the resources they need.”