Alpha Stories | Autumn 2017

Alpha is a space to explore life's biggest questions and the claims of Christianity, in an open, friendly, and informal environment. Here are three stories from people who did Alpha with us last term. 

Paolo
This was my second Alpha course, as I previously attended one at HTB. I wanted to know more about what we discussed then, around what it is to be a Christian and to have faith. We were hosted by the amazing Monville family. Their hospitality and the way they opened their house to us (and their wines!) was one of the good revelations of this course.

I really enjoyed hearing from the others, listening to where they are on their spiritual journey. What is faith? How to have faith in God? These questions are still open for me, but the course gave me a new practical perspective as I met people who practice their faith on a day-to-day basis, reading the bible every morning and opening up their lives to strangers in a way that I hardly experience anywhere else. This helped me get closer to what it means to be a Christian.  I enjoyed very much the brief insights into the history of Christian beliefs, the life of Jesus and the Bible. Understanding the historical context was very important for me, and Alpha is the right place to learn and ask questions.
Olivia
Having been brought up in a Christian family, and hearing how powerful Alpha courses can be, I suppose I always knew that I’d want to do an Alpha course one day. But then I managed to spend 4 years at university in London, flitting between churches, not really settling anywhere, I’d sit next to someone new at a service every week and never really made any connections.
On my first Sunday at St Luke’s, Jon suggested that I did an Alpha course mainly to get to know people at church. It was such a good idea, and I loved the Alpha course for so many reasons.
It was very social, Francois and Domi were amazing hosts, the videos are very approachable and I definitely grew in my faith through asking and answering questions. But the thing I valued the most was seeing other people grow in theirs – seeing people really get to know Jesus for the first time is incredibly valuable. 
So whatever stage of the ‘faith journey’ you’re on, if you haven’t done an Alpha course before I would definitely recommend doing one. If you’ve never heard about Jesus before it’s a great place to start, and even if you’ve been a Christian for a while you might be surprised at how it could inspire you in 2018.
Toby
Being a student moving away from home for the first time can be a challenging experience, especially moving to somewhere like London. For the first few weeks of term I was struggling to fit in and lacking purpose and drive. A friend of mine mentioned something called Alpha, which I had only heard of from the TV Ad featuring a hero of mine; Bear Grylls. I searched for the nearest alpha and researched several churches. St Luke’s was fairly close and looked to be a thriving, welcoming place.
On my first Alpha session I was welcomed into a strangers home, given a delicious meal and enjoyed wonderful conversation with everyone who was there. The talk after was on the Historicity of Christ, something of great importance for me, as a History student. I had never encountered Christianity like that before; welcoming, joyful, and intellectually stimulating. It totally changed my perspective. Over the weeks I attended the Wednesday evenings, whilst using the talks as a way to create structure for my questioning, which I would then read articles, books and listen to talks online delving further into the topics covered each week.
I want to thank everyone at St Luke’s for being so wonderful to me over the last few months, and for the Alpha course which got me starting to ask life’s big questions.