Charles writes: November 2012

One of the exciting things about Christian faith is that there is always more to learn – always new things to discover. I’ve been ordained for twenty five years now, and yet I feel I am still learning new things all the time – not only about ministry, but about my own faith in God.

It’s a little bit like being an explorer who has landed on a new continent. It’s that feeling – I’ve started to explore this wonderful new land – yet there is far more of it still to be discovered.

In January, we are starting a new Alpha Course. The Alpha Course is very much an exploration – looking at the basics of Christian faith, and exploring what it can mean to us. The Alpha Course is for anybody – from those who have been in the church for a long time who would like to brush up on the basics, to those who are complete newcomers, who are not yet sure what they believe! Whatever stage of faith you’re at, and however tentative or uncertain you may feel about your beliefs, Alpha gives an opportunity to discuss and think more about what faith in God means to us, today in the 21st century.

The Alpha Course will run on Thursday evenings, beginning with a simple meal – all free! – followed by a short talk and then a time for discussion. We plan to run the course from mid-January to mid-March.

We will be running a TASTER EVENING this month – on Thursday 29th November, at 7.30pm at the United Church, with the title “Is there more to life than this?” This will be an opportunity to come along and get a feel for the course, without any commitment, so you can decide whether to continue with the course in the New Year or not. It will in fact be Session One of the course, so if you’d like to come on the course, do make sure you come on the Taster Evening if you can.

If you might be interested, do contact our Alpha Co-ordinator, Sarah Oliver, on 242 769, just so we have a rough idea of numbers.

The Alpha Course is also the place to start for adults who would like to be confirmed, as we use the Alpha Course for our adult Confirmation preparation. But those who have already been confirmed will find it equally relevant!

We are also starting a group for teenagers who may be interested in Confirmation. The “QUEST” Group is open to all young people who are in Year 8 or above. There is no commitment to being confirmed at the end; we encourage young people to come along and explore Christian faith together, and in due course make a decision whether Confirmation is right for them.

Like the Alpha Course, the QUEST Group will start in January, but we are running a TASTER EVENING this month – on Monday 26th November, at 7.30pm at the Vicarage. Please let me know if you’re interested (240 106 or – especially any young people who can’t make that date but would like to join the Quest Group in the New Year.

I always enjoy being involved – both in the Alpha Course and in teenagers’ Confirmation groups, firstly to get to know people better, and also because I always learn new things myself! I look forward very much to meeting everyone at our two “Taster evenings”, and to exploring Christian faith in different ways with both groups in the New Year.