Over 2.5 million people in the UK have been on Alpha, a course designed to help people explore many of the biggest questions about life. Our next course begins with two launch nights on January 27 and 28. We caught up with Gary Cottingham, who first attended an Alpha course a little over a year ago, to find out what he made of his experience:
What do you do in London?
I came to London nearly nine years ago straight after university. I work as a Management Consultant and I am currently working on a project in the city at an Investment Bank.
How did you come to do the Alpha Course?
I grew up going to my local church with my mum, but – in what seems to be a common pattern – as I entered my teens I started to drift away and had totally stopped going to church by the time I was seventeen. For over ten years church, Christianity and Jesus were just things I didn’t think about. They weren’t things I felt I wanted or needed in my life.
Then, nearly two years ago I met someone who was part of ChristChurch London, who invited me along, and I started going to church. After a long time away and eight years of London living, I had a lot of questions and decided to attend the Alpha Course in order to explore the questions I had and learn more about what it meant to be a Christian.
What did you make of the course?
Alpha was a great experience for me. What I found was far different to what I remembered from my youth; a group of people for whom Jesus was real and relevant, who were excited to be sharing their faith with me.
Whilst attending the Alpha Course, I had two experiences where I knew God’s love for me in such a real way, and as result I made the decision to follow Jesus on the Alpha Weekend Away this time last year.
What is one thing that has changed since attending Alpha?
Just a few weeks ago, I was helping at the Alpha Weekend Away and thinking how I have changed and how my life has changed in so many ways over the past year. I am so grateful to have gone from being somebody who wasn’t at all interested in God, to really knowing His love and forgiveness and being able to share this with others who are in a similar position to where I was a year ago. Who would have thought it!
Our new course begins with two launch nights at the Grange Holborn Hotel. On January 27, Theoretical Physicist Dr Ard Louis will address the question ‘Has science made God obsolete?’ Then on January 28, award-winning comedian Andy Kind will perform a comedy set and discuss how faith makes a difference to his life and work. Both evenings include a free two-course meal.
To find out more about Alpha and to book a place on our launch evenings, click here.