More than 70 people came to the launch of Alpha at St Catherine's Church in Gorseinon this week.
The launch of Alpha Gorseinon attracted crowds of people when the doors opened on Wednesday 18 January 2017. Organisers say that a good number of those who came had little or no connection with the church.
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone's welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes—you name it. No two Alphas look the same, but generally they have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation.
First up there's food. Whether it's a group of friends gathered around a kitchen table, or a quick catch up over coffee and cake, food has a way of bringing people together. It's no different at Alpha. The sessions start with food because it's a great way to build community and get to know each other.
Then there is a film. The films are designed to engage and inspire conversation. Usually around thirty minutes long. They explore the big issues around faith and unpack the basics of Christianity, addressing questions from Who is Jesus? and How can we have faith? to Why and how do I pray? and How does God guide us?
The film is followed by a discussion. Probably the most important part of any Alpha: the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic, and simply discuss it in a small group. There's no obligation to say anything and there's nothing you can't say (seriously). It's an opportunity to hear from others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.
Speaking after the Alpha launch, the Reverend Dr Adrian Morgan said: 'We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view. Alpha is not an opportunity to tell people what to believe. It is a space where we can explore life and faith together. It is also about bringing people together so that they can get to know each other better and have some fun. The food in the first session was superb and, while I can only speak for certain about my own group, I can certainly say that we did a lot of laughing. There were people there of all ages, from university students to people in their 80s. Seeing them all chatting away together was a wonderful thing."
The next Alpha session is on Wednesday 25 January 2017 at 7pm in St Catherine's Church, Gorseinon.