It might seem a strange time to be blogging about winter, when daffodils are in full bloom and bluebells are shooting up, but the reason will become clear if you read on.

In winter many plants, like this spectacular tree, die back and appear to be lifeless.  But experience tells us they are merely dormant, and will burst into life again in the spring.  Nevertheless, even in the midst of winter the tree is teeming with life.  Ferns, mosses, algae and lichen grow on it, countless small creatures hide in its nooks and birds find shelter and food there.

Sometimes however, the tree dies.  Perhaps it succumbs to old age, or disease, or it gets blown over in the winter storms.  Even then, though it dies, it is not the end of life.  As it decays, fungi will take root in its rotting wood and many insects will feast on it.  As it gradually turns into rich humus it will provide fertile soil for other plants to grow in, and its own seeds will grow up to renew the cycle of life.

In the last couple of years Syzygy has been going through a winter as one by one we’ve had to cut back our services due to the poor health of Tim and others.  It has felt like the leaves have been falling off and all that’s left is to withstand the cold and wait for the new life.  Unfortunately it’s my sad job to tell you that this spring Syzygy won’t be bursting back into life.  In fact, it’s shutting down completely.  The Trustees have decided, with my complete agreement, to formally close Syzygy down and dispose of its assets to other appropriate charities.  We hope to complete this by March 2024.  We’ve already made arrangements to donate all our cars to CMS to serve their mission partners, which is great, but they won’t be available to our former clients in future.

As when a great tree dies, we are saddened by its loss.  But we choose instead to look at all the good fruit: the mission workers we’ve supported, the training and debriefing we’ve carried out, and the role we’ve played over nearly 20 years of helping to develop member care.  We rejoice that in this time mission workers have become (in general) much better facilitated and supported by their churches and agencies. New people are eager to provide this care.  The cycle of life continues…

We’d like to thank everyone who has come with us on this journey by volunteering, praying, funding, promoting, assisting and in every other way helping Syzygy grow and thrive.  Now that it is winding down we hope you will feel (as we do) that it was a worthwhile endeavour and though we have to pass the baton on we have all played our part in a race that is far from over.