CHOP- Community Houses Of Prayer
Tuesday 16th June 7.45-8.45
For this month’s CHOP, you are warmly invited to do a Prayer Walk around the area where you live. You could do this on your own, as a family, or in a group following government guidelines. As you walk around your roads you may want to thank God for the good things about your area, and pray for the places that you pass, or the people. You may want to pray God’s blessing as you go, on shops, businesses, schools etc. Be encouraged that about 350 other Christians around Bath will be praying at the same time in their local areas too!
If you have no idea what CHOPs are, have a look below!
A couple of years ago Belinda Thomas (who is a lay reader at St Saviours, Larkhall) felt led by God to set up Community Houses Of Prayer in Bath (CHOPs). These are organised so that there is a CHOP in each council ward in Bath, plus several in villages around Bath, about 24 in all. The aim is to bring Christians together to pray for our local areas and our city. Because they are area based rather than church based, Christians from different churches have got together to pray and have got to know each other. We intentionally meet in buildings that are not churches, such as pubs and nursing homes and even Prior Park Garden Centre. We meet once a month, from March to October, normally on the second Tuesday of the month, for an hour, between 7.45 and 8.45. It is so encouraging to know that whilst individual groups may be small, we are praying with about 350 other Christians around Bath at the same time every month! (During lockdown, we have prayed individually or over zoom).
I lead the Combe Down CHOP, which normally meets in the Peggy Dodd centre at the top of Summer Lane. The group includes several from HTCD, but also local people who worship elsewhere, such as St Peter and St Paul Catholic Church, at Widcombe, Bath Abbey, and The Salvation Army. I have loved getting to know people from other churches with a shared passion to see God bless Combe Down, and Bath.
Through the CHOP meetings, unity between the churches of Bath has grown so much. We have learnt to pray in different ways and specifically for the needs of our local area. One way that we have really explored prayer is in learning how to Bless our communities, whether it be the people, or the local shops , schools, GP surgery etc etc. It has been a powerful, moving and biblical way to pray and it has been exciting to see the theme of Blessing being used by the church over our nation in recent weeks.
The 24/7 prayer for Bath this year and last year is all part of our churches coming together in unity to seek God for our city. After one of the CHOP evenings last year, Belinda had the amazing experience of seeing huge angels dancing together over Bath. She had a sense that they were expressing God’s delight at his people in Bath coming together in unity.
If you would like to know more, or join your local CHOP, please get in contact! I am looking forward to when we can meet together properly again, but nothing can stop us praying!