The Reading Churches Men’s Group held a meeting with a difference on Saturday, May 19.
Instead of their usual thrice-yearly breakfast with speaker, it celebrated the start of the Olympic torch’s UK tour with an appropriately-themed quiz for family and friends.

More than 60 people gathered at the Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning to form teams and test their wits in seven rounds – before hearing from guest speaker, the rower Debbie Flood – a committed Christian, as well as being Silver Medallist at the Athens and Beijing Games and three times Gold Medallist in the World Championships. The fighting was fair; there were not too many Olympics questions to put off the less sporty. And, despite one contestant thinking that the Forces Sweetheart was Cliff Richard(!), the standard was high – with the winning team romping to victory under the splendid name of “Quizz Akabusi”.Debbie Flood told the group that the excitement of being in an Olympic team is tempered by the gruelling training regime – especially when it is cold, dark and raining, and several hours of rowing lies ahead. A back injury has delayed her return to training, but at the time of writing she is still hopeful of being selected for the London Games. As a Christian, Debbie has a larger perspective on life. “You can’t take your medals with you to heaven” she said. RCMG Chairman John Ledger closed the evening with a prayer, asking that Debbie and all of us will be encouraged and strengthened to reach our full potential with the gifts and talents God has given us.v For the next meeting, the Men’s Group returns to its usual breakfast format. It takes place from 8.30am on Saturday, October 13, again at Reading Blue Coat School.The Guest Speaker will be Harvey Thomas – the international public relations consultant and former director of press and communications under the Thatcher government. Harvey cheated death after falling four floors through the Grand Hotel in Brighton after the IRA bomb attack. He subsequently met and forgave the bomber, and went on to work for 15 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.All men interested in attending can reserve a place by calling John Ledger on (0118) 986 1917.

Chris Carter