The Alpha Course is an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed manner over ten thought-provoking weekly sessions. A typical evening begins with a delicious meal, followed by a informal short talk and smaller discussion groups where you can ask any question you like.
We're sure you'll find the evenings interesting and challenging. But don't take our word for it. We interviewed three people who have recently participated in The Alpha Course at Calvary Church: Jess Whitehouse (22), who is currently studying to become a teacher; Lee Westcott, (27) a banking advisor; and housewife Margaret Price (61). Here's what they had to say.
Jess: I went to church until I was 14 and then chose to leave. I didn't know what I believed and would never say God didn't exist but I wouldn't have called myself a Christian because I didn't feel like one. I didn't understand enough about Christianity or what it meant to have 'a faith'.
Margaret: I attended a Methodist Church as a child and enjoyed learning about Jesus from my Sunday school teachers. The parables gave me good values in life but I had no deep understanding of God. Unfortunately, over the years, Church slipped into the background and I just attended on special occasions like Christmas.
Lee: I was unsure of what to believe.
Jess: It was a choice I made for myself. I needed something in my life and I didn't know what that was. I didn't feel like myself at the time and I felt very lost and mixed up. Doing The Alpha Course was the best decision I have ever made.
Margaret: Although I didn't attend church, thoughts of God had never really left me and with Matthew, my son, attending Calvary Church, I gradually felt I would like to know more. So when he invited me to join The Alpha Course I agreed to give it a try.
Lee: I decided to do the Alpha Course as I had formed some pretty solid opinions without much to base them on and was curious about God.
Jess: Absolutely do it. There is no pressure involved when you do the course - it's great if you just want to understand why people are Christians and find out what they believe. I had an unbelieveable amount of questions and every one was answered. No-one expects you to become a Christian after the course but, believe me, it's a bonus! Your outlook on life changes and I personally feel a better person for knowing I have someone looking out for me and that I'm walking the path God has made for me.
Margaret: I would recommend anyone who has questions about God, life and Christian faith to try the Alpha Course. It is presented in an informal relaxed way beginning with a meal and ending with small group discussions. I enjoyed the Alpha course immensely. Through discussion groups and seminars it gave me a greater understanding of the Christian faith, bringing the Bible to life and answering my questions. It helped me to find my own faith and, in doing so I joined Calvary Church, a cell group and got baptised.
Lee: To anybody thinking of doing the Alpha Course, I would suggest you use it as an opportunity to be really honest and ask any questions (no matter how challenging) that you have never received a satisfactory answer to before. The worst outcome is that you'll feel you were right all along; the best is that you may really find something that shapes you.