Please pray for Op Shops – a network of 7 church charity shops in the Carlisle area. These social enterprises aim to serve local people by selling good quality second hand goods, and offering pastoral support and evangelistic ministry. They provide safe places where the community can meet, volunteer, and in the future community programmes for specific needs.
The story of how Op Shops started is inspiring and instructive: it shows the imaginative ways in which churches can move beyond their own internal concerns (in this case fundraising for building work) to engage the wider community in loving and practical service – building relationships and sharing faith.
The Church Urban Fund is supporting the expansion of Op Shops, and is working with the Contextual Theology Centre on the wider issue of how practical service, the challenging of social injustice and the sharing of faith are each given there proper place in the life of the church. Please pray for this work – and give thanks for the many ways in which practical and imaginative social action is helping to renew local churches.