Alpha sessions get underway again at Holy Trinity Church Hastings launching with a Curry and Quiz Night on Wednesday, January 30.
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each session looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.
Local couple Simon and Emma Kersey have spoken of their experience of taking part in the Alpha sessions.
Simon said: “We live near Battle and have two teenage girls, I work as a plumber and Emma works at a local primary school.
Emma added: “We attended the carol service in December 2017 and were invited to the launch of the Alpha Course. It sounded interesting.
Commenting on belief in God, Simon said: “I believed there was something out there but not sure what. It definitely wasn’t a part of my life.”
Emma said: “My parents were atheists but I went to a church school – I told myself I didn’t need to go to church to be a Christian – just being a good person was enough. I believed in God and Jesus but had not really opened my heart.
“We just loved Alpha. I thought I would find it interesting but wondered whether Simon would like it – but the first one was the timeline of the bible and the content was really interesting and we had great discussions.
“Everyone is free to say what they think. As alpha progresses you get drawn into it in a good way like a TV drama and you start to make friends.
“On the way home we would chat about it in the car – and have conversations about things we would never talk about. There was excellent food too, like a date night.
Simon said: I came to believe in Jesus and realised I needed to put Jesus in the driving seat of my life – rather than money or other things.
“My outlook has completely changed. I have different priorities now – seeing the good rather than the bad in people. Keeping level headed and more patient – in my work – I need that. Before I would have flown off the handle and now more likely to reason with people rather than argue. Best way is to smile at someone rather than fight back. I feel peace. Things that stressed me out before now don’t.
“I was baptised in the sea in July to show that Jesus is now at the centre of my life.
Emma commented: “My knowledge about Jesus went from my head to my heart. I felt a huge peace and joy. I feel that I want to be an encourager. Coming along to this church I have received nothing but encouragement – a real tangible feeling - everyone speaks well off each other, which makes a big difference.
“There are always times when it is hard, or struggles, but I feel strengthened with Jesus to deal with those challenges.
“When I hear people bickering, I would have joined in but I now try and turn the conversation round to a positive and not join in. I want to speak well of people and see the good rather than the bad.
“It has been transformational for our whole family. We enjoyed Alpha so much - one day our 17 year old daughter sat at the back doing home-work and joined in the group. She loved it and decide the do Alpha the next term. She feels so much peace now and we have seen a huge change in her.”
Simon said: “You have nothing to lose by giving Alpha a try. If nothing else you will have an evening with great people and great food and an entertaining quiz? If you are going to do one thing – I would recommend try Alpha. Its life changing.”
Alpha Courses get underway at Holy Trinity Church, Robertson Street, Hastings, on Wednesday, January 30 at 10am or 7pm and runs over nine weeks.
Each session includes food, an engaging and thought provoking video and a discussion at the end. Sign up for Alpha at www.hthchurch.org/alpha