Friday, 7 November 2008


It is 15 years since Nicky Gumbell was becoming a household word in the christian households of the north. Everyone had heard of Alpha, but not connected the name to the( then )videos which were the hot property of many a CU in the universities and the main outreach for christian churches bearing that misleading name 'evangelical'. Nowadays thankfully the respectability of what was once a radical name has been the key to its prolonged success. Alpha courses have become so well known, that most Christian churches use them to go out into the fields for the harvest is ripe.
If you have ever been to Holy Trinity Brompton as I have ,you will realise that its client group and that of its plant churches like St Michaels Southfields is 'middle class professional'. When I first saw the Alpha videos, and listened to the tone and thrust of the talks I felt they only served that group but I have been proved wrong. Like Jesus talking to the everyday Galileans, his words also affected Roman soldiers, elite sanhedrin members, and rich tax collectors.
What a contrast then with the life story of Clarissa Dickson Wright as told in her book "Spilling the Beans' which is our book to discuss in the Filey Library's reading group this month. Middle class professional , decidedly, a barrister like Nicky Gumbel, a cradle RC, what a tale she has to tell!
It is not who is speaking, or with what accent in the Alpha Talks. It is the actual words themselves. They have supernatural power of the best kind. When the Holy Spirit anoints a preacher,speaker or 3 minute homily deliverer, then the outcome may be, should be, will be a changed life.
I just hope that the Fat Lady gets herself along to one of those Edinburgh churches doing Alpha and meets James Belshaw.


  1. If you compare the first set of videos (church library) with the second set (Vicarge)Nicky Gumbles hair changes colour before your very eyes.

  2. You've just made me realise that we need to have a 'Book Review' discussion forum. When this site is up and running,the blog we're on now will only be used for breaking news/current events etc.

    By the way, what's the special e-mail address you created for the website?


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks for the address.

    I've sorted the time format. It was set to GMT -8hrs for some reason!!

    To get the text to wrap around the image you have to select either left or right wrapping in the selection menu when you insert the image into the blog (See the image I've inserted into your blog). i.e. When you select'New Post' and then click on the 'Insert Image' icon, a menu appears. The wrapping options are available here. Try another 'Test' blog. Once you've done it I'll delete it together with my image above.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...