This is a digital-only ThinkIn.
Initially developed as a short course in Christianity by a curate at Holy Trinity Brompton in the late 1980s, the ten-week Alpha Course has become perhaps the most successful faith outreach initiative of modern times. Nicky Gumbel took over the running of the course in 1990, and has overseen its expansion across all major Christian denominations. The Alpha Course is now run in over 150 countries and has reached many millions of people. Well-known ‘graduates’ of the programme include Geri Halliwell, Bear Grylls and Jonathan Aitken, to name but a handful.
The Alpha Course is not without its controversies and critics, but the last decade has not been kind to the public reputation of either the Anglican or Catholic Church. When it comes to engaging with people and finding ways to be relevant, the Church needs all the help it can get. Some of Nicky Gumbel’s supporters have even claimed that he is more influential than the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England.
Nicky will join Tortoise for a digital ThinkIn, in conversation with James Harding, about the future of the Church, the way Alpha works and the role of faith in the modern world.