SHINE unites their community and empowers local residents to work together to make West Bowling a better place to live.
We have journeyed with SHINE and St Stephen’s Church for over four years. Our support has principally given energy and pace to the vision held by the church leaders and small church community in West Bowling, resulting in incredible growth.
St Stephen’s Church is in the heart of one of the most deprived areas of the UK. Ten years ago, when Jimmy and Sarah Hinton arrived, St Stephen’s had an elderly congregation of just eight people, scant resources and a decaying church building. They were on the brink of being closed for good.
Motivated by a desire to bring an ‘incarnational’ model of Christianity to the neighbourhood; to nurture a community of faith that lovingly and diligently reached out to others on a long-term basis, Sarah and Jimmy began building a programme of outreach. Sarah led this community development work with an incredible passion and commitment that has come to characterise them. Despite having a clear picture of where they wanted to go, moving forward was increasingly challenging.
What was needed
Funds and grant income were very low, and all activities were volunteer based. SHINE needed support to:
- Build capacity in terms of staff and structure.
- Define the future direction.
- Raise much-needed funds.
What we achieved
The change has been dramatic. St Stephen’s has journeyed from being an isolated and empty church to one that helps over 200 people each week from every faith and demographic. SHINE has become a registered charity with a varied programme of activities, projects and large-scale community events that bring the diverse community together. The congregation has grown to over 40 people and the church is now viewed as a model for church engagement in multi-racial and deprived areas.
Over £600,000 has been raised to help SHINE secure salaries and increase delivery. A management structure and business plan are in place to guide future development.
A simple yet effective system of measuring impact has provided the evidence needed to secure larger, multi-year funding. Futurekraft also helped design and deliver community consultations.