Two years ago we set up a ‘prayer place’ in the centre of Colchester in an empty shop. It was done as a partnership between CYO, Colchester PrayerNet and the Colchester Boiler Room Community. It was a nighmare getting permission to use the shop which had been empty for over a year but which was in one of the most strategic positions in the shopping centre of the town. But we did it, and for a week people came in, paused, wondered, wrote their prayers and some were prayed with.
This year the Boiler Room Community are running another town centre prayer room. This time the road to gaining a suitable premises has been one long frustrating shuffle ending in a total roadblock. The prayer room will therefore be in what is still a very suitable room in one of the town centre churches which is nevertheless visible and accessible from one of the major pedestrian thoroughfares. If we’re honest, it feels a bit like second best – we still long to open a place that’s just a walk-in for members of the public.
So massive hats off and big respect to Steve Taylor and the guys in Christchurch, NZ, who have totally raised the bar when it comes to public installations that allow people to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. They’ve got eight 40′ shipping containers placed around the city, each one telling a different aspect of the Christmas story. Don’t tell me there won’t be a few of us trying something similar next year!