The Churches of

Hipswell Parish

Alpha Celebration, 6pm Sunday 11th December, 2022

Alpha Celebration!

It was a bitter-sweet occasion last night, as we gathered for our final Alpha last night in St Cuthbert's. Several of the course participants were unable to attend, because of work- or family commitments, but those who did entered into the spirit of thanksgiving for all that we have been through together on this amazing 3-month faith-exploration journey. The gathering in church included contemporary worship, a wonderful passage from Isaiah Ch 35, some opportunity for reflections on the journey, and a time of prayer. There was a lovely sense of the Holy Spirit accompanying us as we worshipped, listened and prayed.

This was followed by a sumptuous meal nextdoor in St Cuthbert's Community Hall, prepared by Marie, Pauline and Angela - a full Christmas dinner with which to end our 'journey'! Many thanks indeed! It was wonderful to be able to relax together - albeit conscious of those unable to be with us - and to enjoy the meal and good fellowship.

Alpha is a well-thought-through approach to exploring faith in Jesus Christ - either for the first time or as a 'refresher course'. Hats off to Nicky Gumbel and his team, along with presenters, Toby & Gemma, for the wonderful video series which forms the basis of the course. Hats off, too, to the Alpha Team, who came together week by week to pray, to welcome our guests, to produce lovely meals (and clear up afterwards!), and to engage with people's searching questions. This was our fourth time through Alpha here in Hipswell Parish, and each time we have witnessed God's Holy Spirit touching participants' lives with his gentle power and deep compassion. It has always been a huge blessing to the team members, too. Inviting participnts to commit to 10 weeks of meetings may initially seem unlikely, but within a short period of time there is a real sense of belonging, both to the wider cohort and to the smaller discussion groups. We look forward to helping our participants to go on taking their next steps in faith, in the months and years to come, and as some of them become more active members in the life of our churches here. 

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