Not just for Catholics: Chattanooga Methodist church teaches how to pray with beads

Lori Heath holds the prayer beads she made as part of an education session at Christ United Methodist Church on July 30.

Dozens of women gathered Tuesday night at Christ United Methodist Church in Chattanooga to make prayer beads and learn how to use them.

Unlike their Catholic or Greek counterparts, the bead strings discussed are distinct and part of the Anglican tradition.

Cathy Robbs Baker, the church's director of education, led a soldout crowd of 100 women through the history of the beads and assembly. She said prayer can often be difficult for people, and having a set of beads to guide their prayers, or at least remind them to pray, can be helpful.

"Even if I'm not touching it, I see it," she said. " ... They're a visual reminder to pray. Then, I can touch it to pray."

Anglican prayer beads were developed in the 20th century and have moved from the Anglican tradition - developed by the Church of England - to other Christian denominations, such as the Methodists.