Exploring our faith: stories from our churches

First published 5th March 2015
The conversations about our faith instigated by our diocesan theme of Creating Confidence in Evangelism and further inspired by the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury have continued sincethe autumn with many of our churches running faith exploration courses.

One of these was St Marys Yate who ran a successful Alpha course. It was hard work but we received very positive feedback and clearly saw people growing in their faith, says Revd Ian Wallace. Many came from our existing congregation but we did have some newcomers and a large group from our Messy Church. Well definitely run the course again and see it as a key stepping stone in our discipling of people.

St Stephen's Soundwell

run their own faith exploration course called The Light Course. Its based on discussion and sharing in small groups, explains Revd Canon Ian Wills, Those groups become simple action learning sets and prayer cells that support each other. Overwhelmingly the feedback is that the course has brought peoples faith alive much more.

Weve found faith exploration courses are by far the easiest way to share the Good News of Jesus and invite a response in an atmosphere of friendship and trust.

St Pauls Southville

run an annual Alpha course. Revd Nick Hay says, It's really healthy to have it as part of our regular programme. We have done it for five years and much of our growth comes through this.

We did a small one this year, just six punters. All but one were not church members and all but one have joined a small group. One is getting baptised having made a Christian commitment. A couple have recommitted their lives to God after a long time away, and the others have all grown in their faith.

St Michaels Stoke Gifford

also runs regular Alpha courses. We love Alpha! says their coordinator Vicky Wicks. What can be better than sharing food together and being able to tell people about Jesus and that he is alive and can make a difference to each of us? We get to meet great people along the way and discuss all sorts of questions.

Vicky recommends other churches give Alpha a try. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.It keeps us looking outwards.

Exciting things are happening around our Diocese and we look forward to seeing how these initiatives continue to develop. As Bishop Lee says, We might have been majoring on Evangelism for a season, but this is has to be a lifelong focus.

Powered by Church Edit