In 2018, as part of the Statistics for Mission returns, parishes across the country were asked whether they had run any enquiry or Christian basics courses that year.
The results are in:
In the Diocese of Bristol 39% reported having run such a course, compared to 34% nationally.
Over 1,000 people attended those courses with 42% of parishes choosing to use Alpha to resource this important ministry.
Other parishes designed their own courses (21%) or used Christianity Explored (13%) or Pilgrim Course (7%).
Both resourcing churches in the Diocese (St Nicholas, Bristol and Pattern Church, Swindon) have been using Alpha to invite people to explore the Christian faith with them. The churches have connected with many non-Christians and de-churched people through these courses with lives being transformed as a result.
Providing people with opportunities to explore the Christian faithEnabling people to ask questions and respond to the Good News is a key part of the Dioceses' Making Disciples in Your Parish initiative.
'Everyone should have the opportunity to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view'
If people are to encounter Jesus Christ, then they need to be provided with a safe and nurturing space in which they can ask honest questions and discover God's love for themselves.
It is deeply encouraging to see that so many parishes are recognising this and providing such opportunities. As we now look ahead to 2020, in what ways could your church provide opportunities for people to explore the Christian faith.