Alpha & the Archbishop of Canterbury

An article for the March 1997 Deep Cove Crier
Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, has spoken out once again in support of the Alpha course and its remarkable growth around the world. Observers are stunned by Alpha’s  unprecedented international acceptance. In 1991, there were only 4 Alpha courses involving 600 people.  By 1995, 2,500 courses had begun involving over 100,000 people.  In early 1997, over 4,500 courses have now sprung up all around the world, involved more than 250,000 people.

In an interview with Focus newspaper, Carey said how interested he had been in watching the Alpha course develop.  He commented, "I think it's superb and it appears to be adapted culturally as well - and all that's good.  I commend it wholeheartedly and think it's a very good thing."

Dr. Carey said that some members of his family had attended Alpha courses and "found it a great help". He added that his son, a curate in the Wakefield diocese, is running the Alpha course in his parish.  Carey has mentioned the growth of Alpha in two keynote speeches during the last year. Last December, he told the national conference of Anglican Renewal Ministries that he considered Alpha to be part of an "immensely encouraging picture" in the church today.

What is Alpha?
The Alpha course is a ten week practical introduction to the Christian faith. It is designed primarily for non-churchgoers and those who have recently become Christians. It was established at Holy Trinity Brompton(HTB) twenty years ago and there are now more than 4,000 Alpha courses all over the UK and overseas. At HTB, Alpha courses are held throughout the year and have over 500 people attending each week Alpha is for: anyone interested in finding out more about the Christian faith.

Alpha looks at practical questions that all of us have asked such as: What is the point of life?  What happens when we die?  What relevance does Jesus have for our lives today?
How do we deal with guilt?

What is Alpha for?

Who is Alpha for? What people have said about Alpha:
"It really was an excellent experience, one I will never forget."  Angie Sotelsek
"Good free-ing experience."  Lee Hardiman
"I recaptured a zest for living and felt I was part of a loving community made up of caring
people."  Teresa Regan
"Alpha answered all the difficult questions I had about Christianity but didn't know where to find the answers."  Andrew McNeile
"A wonderful way to learn about Jesus!"  Ben Wills

North Shore Alpha Opportunities:
Alpha is now being offered right here on the North Shore on Thursday nights at 7:15pm. People are welcome to join new Alpha
Courses when they start three times a year in September, January, and right after Easter. Those interested are welcome to call
Peter Falk at 988-1404 [], or myself at 929-5350 [].
St Simon's Alpha page

My prayer for those reading this article is that perfect love will cast out all fear, especially the fear of searching for truth.

The Rev. Ed Hird,  Rector, St. Simon’s Anglican Church

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