The Alpha Course
What is ‘Alpha’
‘Alpha’ is an opportunity for anyone to come along, and to "discover the meaning of life". Starting with a free 3-course supper, the course invites people to ask and discuss life’s big questions... What about suffering? Who is this Jesus? Can we trust the Bible? ‘Alpha’ offers space away from life’s busy and often very hectic schedule to think of the things that really matter... and one of the great things about ‘Alpha’ is that no-one is ever put under any pressure. People are free to agree or to disagree...
The next Alpha Course at Testwood Baptist Church starts with the Alpha Supper on Tuesday, January 15th 2013 (arrive at 7:15 for a 7:30pm start.) The course then continues on Tuesday evenings until March 26th.
You can book your place on the course now and find out more information by contacting the church on 023 8086 0320 or e-mail us.
Who’s it for?
Anyone! However, those under 15 may struggle with the content. You don’t have to go to Church and you don’t have to be religious... in fact, in many ways we’d prefer it if you weren't! If you want to think about ‘why’ you are here and wonder whether Christianity has anything to say to life... then ‘Alpha’ is for you.
What actually happens?
The pattern for a usual evening is to start with some light refreshments, then someone will give a talk focusing on a specific subject. Following a short break, people break up into groups (these stay the same throughout the course) and discuss what they’ve heard over a cup of coffee. People are free to ask whatever they wish, no question will be ignored or considered too hostile. The evening always ends at a set time with no conclusion forced upon anybody. Often people choose to continue their discussions afterwards as people get to know one another!
How do I sign up?
We don’t expect anyone to ‘sign up’ without having a taster first ... literally in fact! At Testwood Baptist Church we hold what we call an ‘Alpha Supper’. We interview a couple of people who’ve done ‘Alpha’ before and then give an explanation about the course and how it’s run. There’s then an opportunity for people to say "yes I’d like to do the course" or "no thanks, it’s not for me". Again, there’s no pressure and we respect peoples’ decision either way.
How long is it?
10 weeks, usually on a Tuesday evening, although we also meet together for one whole Saturday during the course. This is always a great time as people can get to know one another so much better.
How much is it?
The ‘Alpha’ course is free for all who attend, being financed by the Church. Everyone who helps at ‘Alpha’ is also from the Church ... whether setting up, catering, serving or clearing up at the end.
What do people get out of the course?
Everybody is different! But the best way to answer that question is to let people speak for themselves. The quotes below have been taken from recent ‘Alpha’ courses we’ve run... (in preparation)
What happens after the course?
Nothing! Well, really that’s only half true... what we mean is that it’s up to you what happens next. Some people have linked in to the church, others haven’t. Some feel they’ve had their questions answered, some still have questions and want to keep searching. Some people want to keep meeting as a group, others have linked in to one of the other small groups run by the church. What nearly everybody has in common is that ‘Alpha’ has been an incredibly positive for them.
The origins of Alpha (material taken from Alpha web site)
Developed at Holy Trinity Brompton Church over the last twenty years, Alpha is a practical introduction to the Christian faith. Different churches organise the material in slightly different ways depending on the local needs and situation. It's aimed especially at people who don't go to church. At Holy Trinity, Alpha courses are held throughout the year and have over 600 people attending each week.
The syllabus for the course is contained in the book Questions of Life. Some courses are held during the day. Most are evening courses. At the evening events, there is a light meal followed by a talk on a subject central to the Christian faith. Then participants break into pre-arranged groups of around 10-12 people (in which they remain for the entire course) to discuss the talk in an environment where each person should feel free to ask or express whatever they wish. A team of around three or four 'leaders' or 'helpers' from the host church are attached to each group. There is also a weekend away during which the subject of the Holy Spirit is addressed.
Alpha email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alpha web site: http://www.alpha.org.uk
You may also be interested in the Re-Jesus web site
, providing a contemporary investigation into the life of Jesus. The introductory page to this site says: "Two thousand years after he walked the earth, Jesus of Nazareth remains one of those most talked-about and influential people who has ever lived. In the pages that follow, we explore his life, character, teachings and followers. We look at how Jesus has been quoted and misquoted, filmed and written about, worshipped and argued over. Please take a look around. You're welcome to click, explore and post your own questions, thoughts and prayers.
Alpha Course Now Running
The Alpha Course is currently running at Testwood Baptist Church on Tuesday evenings until March 26th. The Alpha course explores the meaning of life and the basics of the Christian faith. Each evening includes a meal, a presentation on a particular subject and discussion in small groups. There is no… More...
John Bundy - Memories of a childhood in Totton
"I went on an Alpha course. Brilliant! I may be 74 but I'm still learning..." Like many people of my generation, I grew up attending Sunday school. It was at 2.30 in the afternoon and after learning about the Bible we would all go for a long walk. We also… More...
Alpha Course - Photos
Ever wondered what happens at an Alpha Course? Take a look at some photos taken at the Summer 2010 Alpha Course at Testwood Baptist Church. More...
Alpha Course Testimony
'Church' what's it all about I asked, why do people feel a need to go? Nice people I thought just a bit misguided. Was there a place in today's busy life for it? Sure I knew Christians, even my girlfriend was one but I still didn't feel a need to… More...