Daniel writes:

“The reason I started the Alpha course this year is through my uncle, who is a member of Christ Church

“I have always known he has been a part of the church, taken part in the courses and I see the difference it makes to his life. This inspired me to give it a try.

“I have always believed in God but never really took action, so last year after seeing what difference it made to my uncle, I decided I would go.

“The course itself is very laid back; there is no pressure to contribute  - which I was worrying about.  The people I was on the course with were the most amazing people and I felt right at home.  So I was comfortable contributing.

“The start of each week was led with a lovely meal shared with great people – which kicked off great conversations and friendships.

“Next we watched a video, each one sets your mind thinking and sparking some challenging questions.  Then we break off into groups, for those questions answered with group discussion.

“I didn’t know how I would feel about this at first but it was all very informal and I felt comfortable.

“For me the Alpha course has really opened my eyes to God.  Before I would feel an emptiness,  which I couldn’t find anything to fulfil the longing.

“As I started to learn more about God through Alpha I read a little into the Bible and I felt like I wanted to pray more. So the more I would pray, the more I would learn and the more I would want to learn.

“Having this knowledge and praying gave my life a rich sense of fulfilment and it felt whole.

“A usual task in my life that would be dreary and boring: work for example.  Where I would have negative thoughts and would just want to go home, I now have positive thoughts and I take much more pride in what I do.  This gives me a great sense of achievement!

“I feel that this is because I now have God in my life!

“I would highly recommend Alpha to anyone with questions about their faith or even people with no faith at all and would like to expand their knowledge. It is even just worth going for the food because it is top quality: and who knows, you may make some friends along the way! “

Kathryn writes:

“Having recently moved to the area I was intrigued by the Bear Grylls’ poster outside Christ Church and thought Alpha would not only be a nice way to meet people but would also give me an opportunity to explore my shaky faith and ask the questions I’ve had about Christianity for many years.

“From the first week I was made to feel part of the community and was at ease asking those big questions, e.g. ‘Why is there so much such suffering in the world?’

“I haven’t found all the answers (I’m not sure you ever can) but I have learnt something about myself and others (within my group and beyond.)

“Prompted by ill health, I’d already set out on a new course in my life – But  rather than being anxious about this, I’m now confident that God will help me find a new purpose.”

And a poem from Amy:

“Alpha, Alpha, what can I say?

It has changed my life in such a way,

Peace I feel so much more,

the purpose that I’m living for

“In God and Jesus I do believe,

And throughout my life the spirit does weave,

But like us all I needed more,

I had questions that I couldn’t ignore

“Joining the group was the right thing to do,

Everybody is welcome….. even you,

No matter what’s happened in your past,

With god you come first, never last

“Alpha helped me find my way,

The lessons I’ve learned guide me every day,

An adventure I will never forget,

And people that I’m so glad I’ve met.”

Finally, from Christine who did Alpha last Spring.

“I was introduced to the Alpha course by a friend who has been a Christian many years.

“I had lost my faith some years ago and stated that if there was a God, he wouldn’t allow all the suffering of the innocent in the world.  She replied that I should go on the Al[ha course, which I declined at first.

“However, I did agree to go to the launch night, where I met friendly, genuine people.  I thought it would not hurt to do the course and after the first two or three weeks I became very drawn to the people, the socialisation and the video fearing Nicky Gumbel.  I found I actually enjoyed listening to what he had to say.

“I felt inspired and looked forward to each week’s session.

“I enjoy studying the BIble and very quickly had the app ‘BIble in one year” on my phone and tablet.

“I feel I have a good relationships with God, which really formed the Holy Spirit day.

“I would encourage anyone to join the new Alpha course.

“I haven’t found all the answers to my questions but I do feel much calmer and happier with life.  You won’t’ regret attending Alpha.  You will become closer to God and you will make new friends.”