coursesAn air of excitement and anticipation permeated a meeting of fellowship leaders who came together to discuss the possibility of running a joint Alpha/Christianity Explored launch in January 2012.

Those who attended the meeting were Colin Baker – Grays Baptist Church, Rob Groves – St. Margaret’s, Stanford-le-Hope, Daren Partridge – Corringham Evangelical Church, Bob Sullivan – Corringham Baptist Church, Russell Godward – Thurrock Christian Fellowship, Rosemary Pritchard – Grays Methodist Church, Maggie Watts – Grays Methodist Church, Andy Blakey – Thurrock Christian Fellowship, Andy Higgs (Host) – St. Mary’s, North Stifford and St. Cedd’s, Stifford Clays and Alan Robinson – Chafford Hundred Community Church

The meeting was co-ordinated by Rob Groves, Community Evangelist in East Thurrock who had had previous discussions with Russell Godward (TCF) and David Bareham (CHCC) about the possibility of a joint venture, the idea of pooling resources for a combined launch event which could have significant impact across the borough bringing greater success to the ensuing evangelistic courses.

All present were greatly in favour of the concept and it was thought that part of the event could celebrate the success of Rock Thurrock and the planned Youth Alpha course at Palmers College both occurring in the autumn.

There was widespread agreement on other elements of the event being: Expected numbers (approximately 500), venue (Civic Hall), day of week (Friday), Dress code (Casual), Tickets (Sold by table), Entertainment/Programme (Christian Stand-up, Music, Inspirational Performances, Testimonies, Talk), Meal (Three course), event name (Christianity: Boring, Untrue, Irrelevant?).

It was anticipated that there would be at least 8 courses run off the back of the event, with one catering for the hearing impaired and one with the possibility of serving the needs of the those for whom English is an additional language (ESOL). These courses would be planned strategically to give variety of both location and day/time.  Although it was also agreed that many people who came would be likely to do a course with those who had invited them along.

Daren Partridge (CEC) offered to facilitate some training for those wishing to run Christianity Explored, whilst Andy Blakey (TCF) informed the group of the upcoming HTB Relationship Central event which would be useful to those preferring to run Alpha. Bookings for the HTB event here.

The target audience for the event and courses would be adults, so it was proposed that we approach the Unite 30/31 team with an offer from the fellowships to support them in a similar venture for young people, linking more into the success of Rock Thurrock and Youth Alpha.

The next meeting is planned for Tuesday 26th July, 7:30pm at St. Cedd’s.