Organisers hail success of Olympic Praise Bus

Published 01 August 2012
The atmosphere was "electric" as the Praise Bus rolled into London last week, says one of the people behind the historic project.

The open top double decker left Land's End on 19 May and traversed the nation ahead of the Olympic torch.

The bus travelled more than 8,500 miles through England, Scotland and Wales. It played host to over a hundred musicians and singers who filled the air with Christian-inspired music.

Performers included the 20-strong White River Gospel Choir, who played on the Cornwall leg of the tour, and a steel band, which performed between Birmingham and Leicester.

An estimated million people saw the Praise Bus during its 65-day journey.

The Praise Bus was the brainchild of members of Escalls Methodist Chapel, near Land's End.

Christine Bonfield, a member of Escalls, coordinated the project.

She said: "The atmosphere in London was electric; it was absolutely amazing. People were dancing in the street – even police officers were moved by the music. It was so much fun.'

"We had some really fantastic musicians performing on the last stretch, including a Brazilian band. Some of the musicians said being on the road was a life-changing experience. Thousands of people photographed the bus as it went around the country."

The musicians were managed by Allison Humphries. She said: "The musicians came from different churches and it was exciting to see how they interacted with each other. But the best thing was the reaction from the crowds. Everyone embraced the bus."

The huge crowds who turned out to see the Olympic torch included many school children.

She added: "The children's reaction was infectious. I would do the whole thing again and again and again, and that's after being on the bus for 65 days."

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