Tuesday evenings will not be the same in Itchen Valley now that the Alpha Course has come to an end!
Amazingly, 26 of us got through to the end of the course.
If, as the African saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, it is certainly true to say ‘it takes four villages to run an Alpha Course’!
We are so grateful to so many people who made the course possible and worked selflessly in the background. We had some great suppers together – wonderfully cooked and washed up for us by our amazing support team of Anna Burness, Laura Hanley, Di Wilson, Rosie Salmond, Katherine Impey, Judith Mezger, Elizabeth Bouldin, and Patrick and Charlotte Appleby. Thank you so much to all of them and to all who gave so generously to enable us to cover our costs and to the very kind person who offered to underwrite the course before we had even started!
We could not possibly have even approached setting up the course without the support of Vernon and Arminel Tottle who wonderfully got the church ready to create that special atmosphere which is so essential to these evenings and rescued us on a couple of occasions when things could have gone awry.
We had a fantastic introductory evening with David Parker and his band providing entertainment and the newly consecrated Bishop David Williams speaking on ‘Is there more to life than this’ – what a great evening that was!
Divided into three groups, on each evening we heard a different talk. The first was from Bishop David and then on subsequent evenings and the Alpha Day, from Alex Pease (Who is Jesus? and How can I make the most of the rest of my life?), Revd Tim Gleghorn (‘Why did Jesus die?’ ‘Who is the Holy Spirit?’ and ‘How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?‘), Melanie Townsend (‘How can I have faith?’), Ruth Guy (‘Why and how do I pray?’), Revd Phil Dykes (‘Why and how do I read the Bible?’), Lucy Pease (‘How does God guide us?) and Dan Greenfield (‘What does the Holy Spirit do?’). Thank you so much to Christchurch Winchester http://www.ccwinch.org.uk/ for making us so welcome on the Alpha Day.
There were some great discussions ably led by our wonderful Alpha Group Hosts and new friends were made. Our prayer support team, led by Sarah Shirley, prayed for us on each Alpha evening and throughout the course.
Thank you to all who contributed in so many different ways to making it all work.
Lucy and I hope that it will have been the start of a journey for some and a significant staging post for others in discovering why we are here and what it all means….
Alex and Lucy Pease