Prayer house launched in town shop
Churches in a Welsh town have united to rent a shop and create an “urban retreat” for both believers and non-believers alike
The prayer space in Colwyn Bay opened last week under the banner “Space to pray – the local church gathering together”.
Around 40 local Christians have clubbed together to pay the rent and equip the space. The six-month lease runs until April.
‘The shop provides a space in which to focus on God, other than our normal spaces,’ said Robert Beamish, minister of Prince's Drive Baptist Church in Colwyn Bay. ‘So the initial focus for this month is 'coming home', an opportunity for believer and non believer to consider where God really is in their everyday lives.
‘It’s also a place for our churches to pray for our community in a more visible way under the banner of 24/7 prayer.'
The idea grew when Robert read Punk Monk, which is principally the story of 24/7 prayer rooms in communities. He gave a copy to the local church leaders he gathered to pray with each week 'declaring that we need to do this!’
Before the summer a local landlord phoned the church wondering if it was interested in a vacant unit on the Main Street. Robert said it might be, but did not progress it any further.
But the landord then phoned again. ‘This time I went and had a look at the unit,' said Robert, 'and had a real sense that we needed to progress with this.
‘The landlords are believers and liked the idea of the project. They gave us reduced rent and a short six month lease to test the waters.’
The idea was launched at a joint beach service in the summer. People were asked to give £10 a month towards the rent. More than 30 people signed up which was enough to cover the monthly costs each month. An anonymous donor also committed to funding the setting up the project.
The churches took over the lease at the start of November and had a commissioning of the space last Sunday (4 December). It opened towards the end of the week, with local believers hosting the space for local church goers and passers by alike.
The space has a small prayer den as well as a larger space which can be partitioned for different activities to encourage the praying. It is currently divided into a bedroom, lounge, dining room and kitchen, 'encouraging us to reflect on what our faith really looks like often when no one else is watching,' said Robert. ‘This is really helpful at this time of year when we can feel very busy.’
He added, ‘It is a great project but I am biased!’
‘The plan is to keep the space open until the end of April and then after that we will see how God will lead us and develop the project.
‘We are excited by what God is doing amongst us.’