LONDON - Living in the era of information, people are helplessly surrounded by the sea of commercial advertisements. Alpha, the introductory course to Christianity currently running in 7,000 UK churches of all denominations, will commence a massive nation-wide Christian advertising initiative in September to bring a wave of fresh air to society.
This year, the advertising initiative called “The Alpha Invitation,” is the seventh annual campaign for Alpha in the UK. By raising awareness of the Alpha course and creating an environment in which it is easy to invite friends, the aim is to invite everyone to an Alpha course to hear the good news of Jesus Christ, through which the vision of Alpha- the re-evangelization of the UK and transformation of society - can be achieved. “The Alpha Invitation” aims to become the largest Christian advertising initiative in the UK.
The Rev Prebendary Sandy Millar, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, London, the Anglican church which pioneered the Alpha course, said, "These annual initiatives are intended to make it easier for Church members to offer a personal invitation to their friends and all the evidence shows that they are working.”
The eye-catching image showing a mobile phone with a thought-provoking text message “The Alpha course... explore the meaning of life”, is to form the basis of the initiative. It will appear in a wide range of different places including:
- 1,500 billboard sites across the UK.
- The backs of 3,000 buses throughout the country.
- 290 taxi tip-up seats in seven cities - London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle.
- Hundreds of thousands of leaflets, brochures and guides to the Alpha course.
- Thousands of posters outside churches and homes.
Poster advertising is just part of “The Alpha Invitation”. PREPARE, PRAY, PREPARE and PROMOTE are the four key motives of the invitation. Therefore, the poster initiative will be backed up by scores of prayer meetings organized throughout Britain.
September 10th is set as a “National Prayer Day for London” by Alpha, the major prayer topic is “the re-evangelization and transformation of the UK as well as the impact of Alpha.” Some large scale prayer events at venues such as Durham Cathedral, Llandaff Cathedral, St. Giles Cathedral (Edinburgh), Coventry Cathedral and St. Albans Abbey is expected to attract around 17,000 people in total.
A large tent on Clapham Common in London, which has a capacity of 5,000 people, will be erected for two weeks in September for Alpha events. “Soul Survivor” will lead the worship in the “Prayer for London” meeting on September 10th.
In collaboration with “Just10 South London”, a nightly series of talks by a famous evangelist J.John on the Ten Commandments will be hosted from September 10- 24. An Alpha supper party will conclude the J.John mission on September 25th.
There will also be thousands of Alpha supper parties kicking off the autumn courses, including a number of “beacon” suppers organized by groups of churches in local areas.
Since 1992 the Alpha course has seen astonishing growth, both in the United Kingdom and internationally. From just five courses running in the UK in 1992, it has expanded to over 7,150 registered Alpha courses in the UK and 28,260 courses worldwide. The 2003 survey by MORI shows that 9.5-10 million adults across Britain now know about Alpha and approximately 1.6 million are estimated to have completed an Alpha course. The advertising initiative in September is promising to raise Alpha course UK even further.