Clockwise from left: Simon Martin, Greg Holmes, Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Peterson, Yvonne Smyth, and Jenni Ball represent the six churches across the region that are coming together to provide the Alpha course. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Churches come together to provide community course


Six of the region’s churches are coming together to provide a free course to the community.

Alpha, a course spearheaded by Bear Grylls, is a brand-new series filmed around the world that gives locals the chance to ask questions and explore the basics of the Christian faith.

Unite Church, All Saints Nelson, Victory Community Anglican Church, St Stephens Community Church, St Barnabus Anglican Church, and the Holy Trinity Anglican Church are all joining together to run the eleven week course.

All Saints vicar Simon Martin says it is really great to see the churches working together.

“While we celebrate different cultures and different ways of being christians and doing church, this is a way of saying actually our foundations are the same and we can work together.”

For anyone who has questions about faith and life, with or without a church background, Alpha looks at things like: is God real? Why do bad things happen? Does God heal? What is the point of life?

St Stephens pastor Nathaniel Peterson says everyone has questions, even if they don’t realise it.

“Alpha is about inviting people to come on a walk through our world view, let’s ask questions, let’s talk about it, I want to know where you stand on things and what questions you have.”

Kicking off with taster sessions at the start of May, Alpha is designed around a dinner, dvd, and discussion format, and will be running at different churches almost every day of the week.

Victory Community Anglican Church vicar Greg Holmes says, while life isn’t always easy, he is looking forward to answering questions and having conversations about how we don’t have to do life on our own.

“Life is a great adventure and parts of that adventure are flipping scary, it can be a white knuckle ride sometimes but you don’t have to do it alone, that’s what church is for – to do hard life together.”

Unite Church’s Jenni Ball says there is no obligation and people can walk away at any point.

“It’s quite a relaxed approach, we don’t do a follow up, there is no obligation, you can stop coming anytime you want and people are more than welcome to come along to the first taster night and see if it’s something they want to keep coming to, it’s totally up to them.”

For more information or to find a course near you, visit