”For the past twenty years we have run Alpha Courses at St Johns, and I have been blessed and privileged to be part of them since 2016. Except for the Covid years and last year we have enjoyed the Alpha journey experience and what always amazes me – is that even though I do it each year – I learn something new and more each time.

And isn’t that what being a follower of Jesus is – a journey of learning and experiencing anew and afresh, things we know and accept – and then bam – the Holy Spirit reveals a little bit more!! Hallelujah Hallelujah!

This week we came to the end of Alpha 2024, and it is a joy to share and reflect on what we have experienced together as we embarked on an incredible journey, deepening our understanding and relationship with Jesus through Nicky Gumble and his team.

When thinking about why the course was named The Alpha Course – I approached Dr Google and found the name Alpha was chosen by Holy Trinity Brompton, who originally developed the course, for its symbolic significance. This name perfectly encapsulates the course’s purpose – to provide a starting point for people to explore the Christian faith, regardless of their background or previous religious experience.

Together, we have explored the core truths of the Christian faith, delving into topics such as the identity of Jesus, the purpose of his death and resurrection, and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We have had the opportunity to freely ask questions and engage in meaningful discussions, leading to a greater understanding and appreciation of our faith.

We have been reminded that knowing Jesus goes beyond mere head knowledge. It is about having a personal relationship with him, walking with him daily and experiencing his love, grace, and mercy in our lives. It is about understanding that we are loved and valued by him, and that our worth and identity are found in him alone.

Our time in the Alpha Course has also taught us the importance of community and fellowship. As we shared meals and conversations together, relationships were made and strengthened. We have laughed together, cried together and prayed together – supporting and encouraging one another in our faith journeys.

This is a beautiful reflection of the early church in Acts, where the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer as we read in Acts 2:42.

As I reflect on all that we have learned and experienced through the Alpha Course, I am filled with gratitude and awe for all that Jesus is and all that He has done for us, and what He promises to continue doing for us. I am reminded of the psalmist’s words in Psalm 145:3, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”

My dear brothers and sisters, let us continue to press on, to deepen our relationship with Jesus, and to share his love with those around us. Let his life transform and impact every aspect of our being, so we can truly live as his disciples and make a difference in this world for his glory.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who was involved in Alpha 2024. To our brilliant soup makers who provided the most delicious soups each week, those praying behind the scenes, our facilitators and of course each one of you who were part of this incredible journey. May we continue to grow in our faith and share the good news of Jesus with those around us.

Watch this space for dates for our Alpha 2025 and I encourage all, whether you are a longtime believer looking to deepen your understanding or someone curious about Christianity, Alpha provides a wonderful opportunity to grow and connect.

Much love