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Teme Valley utilises funding to host very successful Alpha course

Published: 12th March 2024

Twenty-five people recently completed an Alpha course in the Teme valley, which was supported by a grant from the Healthier Churches Fund. It was run by Churches Together in Teme Valley and through friends and other contacts being invited it attracted attendees from The Shelsleys, Clifton-upon-Teme, Martley, Harpley as well as Tenbury Wells and Stourport.  Those attending were aged between 30 and 85 and engagement was high with 35 people signing up and 25 completing the course.

Jen Denniston said:

“The Healthier Churches funding really helped! It allowed us to provide books, resources and publicity.  The funding allowed us to run the course at a café just outside Clifton enabling us to take the time to engage well with those attending, provide a warm welcome and get to know them better.”

Jen reports that the feedback was excellent, suggesting people found the Alpha course to be a safe, welcoming, and loving space in which to explore the questions they have always wanted to ask. Jen adds:

“Many people have moved forward in their Christian journey as a result of the course. Fellowship was also mentioned a lot in the feedback as being very important to those that attended. Especially post Covid, it meant a lot to people to have the opportunity to come together, eat together and be sociable. Friendships have formed and people have set up their own WhatsApp groups.”

Emily said:

“It's been great: it's almost felt like counselling and healing; Alpha's been the right thing at the right time for me; it's re-started me on my Christian journey.”

An older participant said:

“I feel like I have been wrapped in a warm blanket, holding me and helping me face life again, dissolving the loneliness which was drowning me in sadness. I now can make the next steps and feel I have something worth hanging on to. I can't wait for the next course."

The course finished just before Christmas so provided a good opportunity to invite participants to Christmas services including Carols and nativity plays and Jen noticed attendances at their Christmas services did increase as a result.

In January as a follow-up they ran a four week course looking at Nicky Gumbel’s ‘A Life Worth Living’, playing two videos a night. They also found prayer to be popular with this group so have set up another group following Pete Greig’s eight week prayer course, and have funded this to provide copies of his books so people don’t have to fund these themselves. There are 25 people currently on the prayer course. Some from the Alpha course and a few extras. There is also another group looking at doing a Pilgrim course on the Creeds.

Alongside these opportunities attendees have been informed of and encouraged to join other groups including a practical prayer group that meets in Clifton and other house groups that meet mid-week.

Attendance levels have also risen following the Alpha course. Jen said:

“We certainly feel it was worth doing, for everyone involved. It’s made a big difference to the individuals who attended, bolstering them on their journey of faith, and cross parish participation and attendance at services and other groups has increased as well, on account of bonds being strengthened on Alpha.”

Page last updated: Wednesday 13th March 2024 2:47 PM

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