At the end of April SHINE will officially close.
The Trust Board regretfully took the decision in March that all activity should cease and the Charity be closed.
The Board has written recently to Churches, donors, prayer supporters and other partners informing them of this decision.
The Churches of St Helens have worked together under the banner of SHINE and its pre-cursors since 1991, and SHINE became a charity in 1997. Since that time it has facilitated inter-church communications and information exchange, joint working, mission and community-based projects as well as providing a major prayer network for the borough.
There is much to thank God for that SHINE has been part of over these years. Of course, nothing could have been achieved without the support of churches, church and other Christian leaders and their people, through prayer, financial support and provision of people and energy. Many people have volunteered willingly in serving the purposes of God in this town for which we must be grateful.
Not least of course, SHINE has played a major part in developing close relationships between churches and the local Council and other local agencies. Today the churches are held in high regard by the Borough Council and are welcomed to the table in many of their discussions and committees.
It is with great sadness that the Board has taken this decision. However we believe the environment within which SHINE works has changed dramatically and support for SHINE from amongst the churches is not sufficient to sustain its effectiveness. The shape of church has also shifted, and whilst the Gospel we proclaim is unchanged, the way in which we do this, and therefore the ways in which we collaborate, must alter to fit. Over the past 6 months there has been little activity generated by SHINE. Twelve months ago a survey was undertaken to determine the support for and the future shape SHINE could usefully embrace. The responses were very inconclusive and made it impossible to see any clear way forward.
The SHINE bank accounts are also closing soon so please cease any standing orders or other gifts in favour of SHINE.
It is the prayer of the Board that God will continue to enable his people in St Helens to work together for his kingdom.