We will be holding an ALPHA Course commencing Wednesday, 7th March from 6.30 – 7.30pm. If you are interested please telephone Roy on 489 1045.
The Alpha course is an evangelistic course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions. It is described by its organisers as “an opportunity to explore the meaning of life”. Alpha courses are being run in churches, homes, workplaces, prisons, universities and a wide variety of other locations. The course began in Britain and is being run around the world by various Christian denominations.
Alpha was started in 1977 by the Reverend Charles Marnham, a curate at Holy Trinity Brompton, a Church of England parish in London. It started as a course for church members regarding the basics of beliefs commonly held by many believers in Christ but then began to be used as an introduction for those interested in the faith. The Very Reverend John Irvine, at that time a curate at Holy Trinity Brompton, took over the running of the course in 1981 and developed the 10-week format which continues to this day. In 1985 the Reverend Nicky Lee took the course on and in 1990 the Reverend Nicky Gumbel, also then curate at Holy Trinity, took over the running of the course at the invitation of the Reverend Sandy Millar (vicar at that time) and oversaw its revision and expansion.
Alpha grew rapidly in Britain in the 1990s, from just four courses in 1991 to 2,500 in 1995. A peak was reached in 1998, when 10,500 courses were run. By 2001 this had fallen to 7,300. In 2015, the Alpha website described the course as running in 169 countries and 112 languages, with over 27 million people having taken the course. Courses have been run by Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, with some variations in course material.