Meet Pippa, Tom, Joe and Sarah. They’re flatmates and live in East Dulwich, London. A few months ago they decided to run Alpha and thought; ‘Where better than our living room?’ We met up with them at Run Alpha to find out more.
Tell us a bit about yourselves – how did you end up being flatmates?
Sarah: Well, I’m the new addition. I’ve been living at the flat for just over six weeks.
Pippa: The rest of us have been living together for just over a year. We know each other through something called Celebrate, which is a Catholic family conference. We all had a heart not just for living together but for living in a space where we could worship God, invite people round and host things like Alpha.
Why did you choose to run Alpha?
Pippa: We’ve wanted to do an Alpha for a long time. We really believe in Alpha as a tool for evangelisation – it’s simple, it’s effective and it leads people to the heart of Jesus.
Joe: We’ve got a great space in Dulwich where we live. We love having people over for food and having great chats over dinner. Alpha was really just an extension of that – dinner around the table, watching an online Alpha video and having an open discussion. I like the simplicity of that.
What does it look like to run Alpha in your living room?
Sarah: We spent the night before the first session preparing all the food together, tidying and cleaning. First impressions count. We’d also been praying a lot in the build-up and the majority of people we invited came, which was amazing. It felt so warm walking into our living room on the first evening of Alpha – conversation was flowing quite easily between people who hadn’t ever met before.
Tom: We did pray about it a lot and thought about those who God had put on our hearts to invite. When you’re relying on God sometimes you’ve just got to go with it. Personally, I had quite a bit of apprehension about it – I’d never done Alpha before. But literally within a few minutes of being there I was relaxed. God gave me a sense of peace.
Joe: So far we’ve not managed to do worship. We love worship – we’re part of ‘One Hope Project', who love to meet and worship together. It’s just a case of working out how we’d do it in the space we have.
What would your advice be to anyone thinking of running Alpha at home?
Sarah: I think it’s great for Catholics to use Alpha to evangelise because it is a back to basics tool to get people familiar with the idea of Jesus and what Christianity is in a relaxed setting which puts no pressure on them to feel a certain way about it.
Tom: Open up that conversation, plant that seed, maybe water it a little... then just trust God.
Pippa: Go for it. It’s a lot of fun and it could be the first step in somebody’s walk with Jesus.
What are your hopes for the rest of Alpha?
Joe: We’d love it to be a place where people can share and ask whatever they want. Ultimately, we’d love all our guests to have the chance to know Jesus and come into the Church.
Pippa: I’d love people to finish Alpha feeling like they have made some great friendships and that they have had some wonderful, rich, deep conversations that they weren’t able to have before.
Find out more about the One Hope Project at: onehopeproject.co.uk