More questions than answers? The Alpha Course is a unique opportunity to spend time with others exploring the meaning of life. Usually run over a 10 week period, each weekly session covers a topic – for example faith, the bible, prayer, life as a Christian. Alpha courses run in more than 7000 churches and other venues across the UK – including St Andrew’s Oxshott.
Anyone and everyone. It’s often popular with people who are not regular churchgoers. People generally have pretty diverse points of view which can result in some lively debate.
Why do they go?
Some people want to investigate whether God exists. Some people want to think about life after death. Some people have questions to answer and would like to explore what the purpose of life might be. Some people want to understand other people’s beliefs.
A typical Alpha course meeting starts with a meal, followed by a short talk and then time to share thoughts. There’s no pressure, no follow up and no charge.
Who started it?
A curate called Charles Marnham at Holy Trinity Brompton in London started Alpha in 1977. Today the headquarters are still at Holy Trinity, with Revd Nicky Gumbel at the helm. Alpha has spread right across the globe with courses now in some 163 countries. More than 15 million people worldwide have been on an Alpha course, two and a half million of them in the UK.