Thoughts from the founder of CNI Network, Paul Blakey MBE:
Today CNI Network is asking church gatherings to take a few moments to pray for our teams, our work, the continued impact, the wider night-time economy, etc.
Our tag line is #MakingCityStreetsLikeNewAgain and that is exactly what our teams are part of making happen as alcohol related violence and A&E admissions reduce year on year in the UK!
11 and a half years ago when God dropped the idea of doing something around the night-time economy in Halifax I was not too keen. But the idea stayed and Jean and I wandered the town together and saw things we would rather not have seen! We knew something had to be done! So we pushed doors, they opened and Street Angels landed! (want to know more - read the book!!!)
This simple response to a massive need soon saw amazing results (violent crime reduced by 42% in the town centre in 12 months) and as such we very quickly began to spread our wings. We launched CNI Network - Christian Nightlife Initiatives in 2008 and, a few years later, after almost 7 years of heading up the Halifax project moved on to head up CNI full time.
For me it is an amazing (though sometimes painful) journey - seeing change in local communities; seeing ideas become reality; developing new projects and seeing them grow and replicate; getting alongside people and projects; equipping and resourcing the local church to become a massive part of the solution to out of control issues; sharing our story to audiences of ten and ten thousand!
Thank you to every person who is part of this movement that is #MakingCityStreetsLikeNewAgain - those who volunteer out on the streets, in clubs, at festivals; those who believed in us right at the start and in the 100+ communities we are now in; those who pray; those who have given and supported; those who have become close friends; those we partner with.
I believe God is into networks, connecting people and organisations for the greater good. CNI Network and my ministry is part of this massive bigger picture of people and God working together seeing radical and lasting social, community and individual transformation! Love the person in front of you is where it starts and where it ends but the results are amazing!
Thank you to all who are #MakingCityStreetsLikeNewAgain!