Seeking – and finding – answers to some of life’s big questions

Article on Alpha in HEMLifeThis article appeared in the March 2015 issue of Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life and features two of the guests from St John’s recent Alpha Courses.

The article was written by members of our Alpha Team and you can read it online on page 28 of the paper here or the text is given below.

Copies of the paper are available at St John’s in the Main Hall.  Why not pick one up and pass it onto a friend to promote our Alpha course and spread good news about FINDING the answers to some of life’s big questions?


Two personal perspectives on the benefits of the ALPHA course that explores the Christian faith

Why am I here? Is this it? What is the meaning of life? These are questions that, if we are honest, we all consider from time to time.
The Alpha course does not promise to provide all the answers but it does give an opportunity for people to explore life and the Christian faith in a friendly, open and informal environment.
Having grown enormously over the past 37 years, from its humble beginnings in a central London church, the Alpha course now runs in 169 countries around the world.
Over a series of ten weeks and one weekend away, the Alpha course looks at the fundamentals of the Christian faith and allows those attending, in small groups, to question, dispute, and grapple with some big questions such as ‘Who is Jesus?’, ‘Why and how should I pray?’, ‘Does God heal today?’
Not targeted at any one particular section of society, the Alpha course takes place in schools, youth groups,universities, churches, homes, homeless shelters and prisons, and here in Birmingham, St John’s Church Harborne, is just one of several churches who host the Alpha course and open their doors to the public.
Both Jack and Anthony have attended the Alpha course at St John’s Church and provide their own personal perspectives:

ANTHONY, is 51 years old and works in I.T.
“If you’re looking for something different in 2015 and are at all curious about the Christian faith then I would highly recommend the Alpha course. Last autumn I attended all ten sessions at St John’s Church in Harborne and their Alpha weekend away.

“Why do I recommend the course? Simply because the people who run the course are delightful and the way they “do” Christianity may be very different to your previous experience of church.

“Direct personal experience is the only truthful way to learn about Christianity and the Alpha team are a lovely group of people who are disarmingly unafraid to admit their vulnerability and imperfections and unafraid to tell you about what Christ has done for them.

“They consistently gave me their respect and hospitality. I felt greatly honoured to be invited into their company.”

JACK, is 24 years old and is undertaking a PhD in cancer research at the University of Birmingham

“I took part in and enjoyed the Alpha course. It started me on a journey both learning more about the Christian faith and discovering new sides to myself. I really loved the Alpha weekend away and felt like a completely different person by the end of the course.

“After finishing, I missed the course and everyone on it. Nearly a year later I was given the opportunity to become a team member on the next course and jumped at the chance. I felt that I had learnt a lot and could perhaps help others through the same journey I had taken a year before. It was a wonderful experience. It allowed me to get to know the Alpha team better, see the effort that goes into planning the course, and most rewardingly spend time with those attending the course, empathise with a lot of the questions they had and help them on their own journeys of discovery.

“I feel that coming back as a team member enhanced my experience of the first Alpha and would recommend it to anyone.”

Listen to Jack talking to Mark in an interview about his experience of Alpha, at St John’s on Sunday 8th March

If you are interested in finding out more about Alpha or looking for a course near to you in Birmingham check out:

The next Alpha course at St John’s Church in Harborne will be starting on 21st April 2015. To book onto the course please contact the Church Office: or telephone 0121 427 4601.


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HEMLife is a monthly free newspaper edited by Phil Brown and distributed to homes in Harborne and available elsewhere in the local community.





11th Mar 2015 Posted in: News, St John's Stories by Stella Jennings 0

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