Diocese of Portsmouth

    Discussing the big issues over pizza and a pint

    18 Feb. 2023

    IT’S quite natural to talk through the big issues of life over a pint in the pub. So it makes sense that Harbour Church in Portsmouth holds an Alpha Course there.

    Those who come to sessions in the Guildhall Village are welcomed with a free drink, pizza and fries. Then they watch the Alpha video and split into smaller discussion groups.

    Harbour Church runs regular Alpha Courses, with one held in the pub each year designed for those aged 18-30, with a particular focus on students.

    For Johan Kool, 19, it’s a good way to discover more about the faith that half his family and his girlfriend believes in.

    He said: “It’s been helpful as I’ve always had reservations about faith. It’s great to meet people who are open-minded and to speak about some of the fundamentals, as you don’t always have time in normal life.”

    His girlfriend, Naomi Day, 19, said: “I’ve been a Christian all my life and I’ve done Youth Alpha. Coming to university is a different experience and now I’m more independent, I’m starting to ask different questions.”

    Emily Vale, 18, has been on Youth Alpha courses, and helps with children’s groups at Harbour Church on a Sunday morning.

    She said: “It’s good to be in an environment where you can ask questions that you can’t really ask on a Sunday. I’ve had some questions answered about the reliability of the Bible.”

    Julie Kleivset (right) is among those leading the current Alpha Course in Guildhall Village
    Johan Kool (left), Naomi Day and Emily Vale take part in the Alpha Course in the Guildhall Village pub

    Will Marshall, 18, joined an Alpha Course last autumn which led him to make a Christian commitment. He’s now helping to lead the current course.

    “I knew all about Christianity, but had pushed back against it until Alpha changed my life,” he said. “I made a commitment to Christ on the Alpha Saturday and now I’m involved with the 10am and 6pm services.”

    Another leader, Julie Kleivset, 22, said: “This is a good group that is asking great questions. I always come out of these courses with a new perspective. Being in the pub is more comfortable for those who aren’t involved with church. Free drinks and food is a good way to encourage them to come.”

    Harbour Church runs Alpha three times a year, and you can find out more about how to join them on www.harbourchurchuk.org. For more information about the Alpha Course, see www.alpha.org. For details of churches in our diocese running Alpha and similar courses, click here.

    Latest News

    More news