I write this letter in the wake of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend. Wow, what an extravaganza … and that was just for starters! By the time you read this we’ll be spinning headlong towards the main event, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The ratcheting up of Olympic fever may have paused momentarily for us to show our appreciation to the Queen, but the torch’s journey towards its final destination has continued nonetheless. Lofty promises of the Olympic spectacle abound, and I’m sure that if even half of it goes to plan, we’re in for quite a treat, brollies and pac-a-macs notwithstanding.

Herculean efforts will be displayed by both Olympians and Paralympians alike. Though they receive less coverage, I often find the latter even more compelling than the former. To reach such levels of fitness and performance is always amazing, but to do so whilst wrestling with a physical disability is truly inspiring. The Book of Hebrews (ch.12 v.1) exhorts us to run the race with endurance. For the athletes that race is clearly about going for gold, yet the rest of us must not think ourselves left out. Running the race with endurance is as much about continuing to stand against injustice and oppression as it is about excelling in a sporting activity.

As punters come rolling in and businesses deal with the influx, some, sadly, will be tempted to resort to unscrupulous means in order to maximise profits at the expense of human care and dignity. It is highly likely that instances of people-trafficking will have increased as a result of our packed summer calendar. Many of the victims of trafficking are young people taken from their families in developing countries and forced to work over here for nothing more than a space to sleep in the corner of a storeroom. A charity called ‘Stop the Traffik’ raise awareness of these abuses and actively campaign to make it harder for people to take advantage of the vulnerable in such a way. It’s a shame that amid the fun and festivity of the Games, some will suffer cruelty and hardship as a result. You can find out more, and how to add your voice to theirs at http://www.stopthetraffik.org/.

So let us run the race with endurance, wherever that may take us, but let us try not to do so at the expense of others. Have a great summer and enjoy the Games. God bless, Tim