Alpha International

Alpha International

September 07, 2007 07:58 ET

UK's First TV Commercial for Christianity is Launched

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2007) - The UK's first mainstream TV commercial for Christianity will be broadcast on Channel Four next week.

It will be shown on Wednesday night, September 12, at 10.10pm during 'Brothers and Sisters', a drama starring Calista Flockhart.

The advertisement will be seen by millions of people across the nation during the next fortnight. As well as being shown on Channel Four, it is also appearing 58 times on the E4 and E4+1 digital channels and on 2,200 cinema screens nationwide for a week, starting today (Friday, September 7).

The commercial will also appear on screens in hundreds of bars nationwide and hundreds of buses in London and Birmingham.

The 60 second advertisement is for the popular Alpha course now running in 7,000 UK churches of all denominations across the UK.

The Alpha course is a 15 session introduction to Christianity for non-churchgoers run by churches of every major denomination. It is supported by senior church leaders around the world including the Archbishop of Canterbury and many Roman Catholic Cardinals. More than 10 million people are now estimated to have completed the course, which originated in an Anglican parish in London.

The advertisement depicts human life as a conveyor belt from birth to death, incorporating many wry humorous touches. It was created by Alastair Duckworth, 24, a young Alpha supporter.

Supper parties and other events are being organised by local churches in thousands of locations across the UK - including hotels, sports centres and prisons - to promote the course.

More than two million people in the UK have attended an Alpha course and an Ipsos MORI survey has revealed that 23 per cent of the British population now recognise Alpha as a Christian course. This is the tenth annual national advertising campaign.

The campaign is being financed by churches and charitable trusts and Christian benefactors.

Alpha UK Director Rebecca Stewart said, 'With an increasing number of young people in their 20s and 30s attending Alpha courses, television and cinema advertising is ideal for us to increase the profile of the course among those who are most interested.'

Nicky Gumbel, pioneer of the course, said 'We have heard many wonderful stories of people - many of them young - whose lives have been changed by God through the Alpha course in churches of all denominations throughout the country.

'These annual initiatives are intended to make it easier for church members to offer a personal invitation to their friends. All the evidence shows that they are working.'

The 60-second advertisement can be viewed on or

Click on links below for photography.

Notes to Editors:


Alpha is a 15-session practical introduction to the Christian faith designed primarily for non-churchgoers and new Christians and is being run by churches of every major denomination in 163 countries around the world and translated into 87 languages.

The Alpha course was started by Charles Marnham at Holy Trinity Brompton, London in October 1977. As well as running in churches, it is also being held in prisons, universities, workplaces and homes.

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, there are now approximately 7,000 registered Alpha courses in the UK and over 34,000 courses in 163 countries. It is estimated that over 10 million people have now been on the course worldwide.

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