What is Alpha?
Alpha is a series of weekly sessions where you can explore the Christian faith in an open-minded and welcoming environment. There's no pressure, just lot's great conversation and space to think. Each session includes food, a short talk and a time of discussion where you can share your thoughts about what you've heard. Whatever questions you've got, you can ask them at Alpha.
What's different this time?
This time round we are going to be doing Alpha as a whole Church! We are pressing pause on our amazing life groups to come together with different meetings happening across the week, this will be a chance for us to gather around the foundational truths of the Christian faith, facilitate connection and reconnection for our existing members of the Church, new members and anyone who wants to come and explore life's big questions!
How is it going to work?
We have different meetings happening across the week, 'On Site', 'Off Site', and 'Online' for you to decide which would work best for you, to sign up please follow the links below...
Interested in being on team?
If you'd be interested in being on the team to help lead an Alpha table, or just want to get trained up then please sign up to the Alpha training session on Wednesday the 8th of September from 7:30-9pm here...
Tuesday 7-8:45pm @ the lantern church
Wednesday 2-3:30pm @ the hub
Wednesday 7:45-9:30pm@ the lantern church
Thursday 10-11:30Am @ the hub
Tuesday 7-8:30pm @ the Allendale Centre Wimborne
Tuesday 8-9:30pm via zoom
Frequently asked questions
But I’ve done Alpha before or I’m not interested in doing it!
We totally get that that, but many of us have done Alpha plenty of times before - and LOVE it every time! It reminds us of the foundational truths, it trains us in helping communicate our faith to others, and we always get to know people better though some amazing discussions as we share the journey together. And there’s always food involved! The new Alpha film series is exceptional and the attitude we want to carry whenever we hear the gospel is not “I’ve heard this before” but “I need this again”.
But I love my Life Group, why are you forcing us to stop!
We’re not forcing anything. But we are encouraging us to go on this journey together. It might be that your group doesn’t feel like it ‘needs this’ as much as others might do, but we want you then to help us host others and create a wonderful atmosphere, on-boarding people into a rhythm of midweek discipleship that might help them find faith and also help reinvigorate our life groups after we finish. Finally, whilst we recognise that meeting together is key as a LG, we would hope that your LG is more than just a physical meeting, but a set of relationships whereby you pray for one another and could connect socially at other points if you’d like to.
So can we at least sit together as a LG and do Alpha together?
Well, yes and no! This is a fantastic, time-limited opportunity to help us all to get to know other people, welcome people, some of whom might be exploring faith for the first time. And with tables that typically fit 8 people around them, it might be you’d need to split your group regardless, but you’ll all be together, in the room, and on the same journey. We encourage you to see it as an opportunity to invite others to explore faith next term and get to know new people in the church. The launch event meal will be a FANTASTIC opportunity to invite friends and neighbours, have a great evening and learn a bit about Alpha.
What will happen to my group after Alpha?
We value discipleship groups massively, we are certainly not planning to stop them, but we hope, along with looking at the structures and pattern of meeting, that this term might help engage new people in church life, and a rhythm of midweek meeting to grow in their faith. So it may be that we grow our group membership, that new disciples of Jesus are made, and that new leaders are raised up too!
What about babysitting, if I/we are going to do it, that’ll be a problem!
We want to make the courses as accessible as possible. So we have two evening courses and one morning course onsite at the Lantern. Tues evening will run from 7-8:45pm, and Weds, 7:45-9:30pm. The morning course on Thurs might be more accessible to some, but the other way could be to buddy up with another couple, enabling one couple to go one evening, and the other, on the other evening. Also, we can point you to some babysitters if that would help? Perhaps volunteering to babysit would be a great way for you to support others attending!?
I can’t commit to doing the whole course, I’m too busy…
Well, if you miss a handful of sessions that’s fine, it’s unlikely everyone will be able to make every evening, and all are worth attending - but clearly the more you can prioritise, the better. And we can make the videos accessible if you miss the odd week. But doing the journey together, and the group discussions are crucial to the experience of Alpha. If you really are too busy to make hardly any of the sessions, well then to be honest, the issue isn’t ‘Alpha’, but your schedule! Bless you and let us know if there is another way you think it could be more accessible for you.
Does it cost anything? What about the food!?
Alpha is free - we don’t want to charge anyone for doing the course. However, we will likely ask for donations or some fee for the first meal as we anticipate using professional caterers for that and making it a great evening. There is a small cost for Alpha course manuals, so you might want to contribute to that as well, but there’s no need to at all! Oh, and we’ll be suggesting each Alpha table/group cater for their own snacks/dessert each week and we’ll provide table service refreshments/drinks, etc. So depending on your individual groups needs, cake, cheese, nibbles, tapas… whatever makes sense! Get creative and enjoy, or just enjoy drinks/tea & coffee, etc.