Alpha: Kat’s Testimony

Kat’s Testimony

Alpha, 2018

When I first started Alpha I was very sceptical about everything: God, Jesus and Christianity as a whole. I was very set in the way of that in order to believe, I had to have hard evidence. I had to see it to believe it. I also desperately wanted to have an experience like I felt that everyone else was.

Alpha for me was one of the best experiences I ever had. I met people with similar questions to me and felt like I was not alone but part of a family. Being part of Alpha completely changed me and doing it in a group was wonderful because we had different questions and different views.

On Alpha I found my own path and started my own personal journey. I gave my life to Jesus and since then have started the most wonderful journey with God. I was blessed with a real experience with the Holy Spirit. My life changed for the better and I just know now, how real God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are and am so grateful they are in my life.

I truly recommend this course for anyone with question and who wants to develop a better relationship with our Lord. Alpha for me was the first stepping stone into my own personal journey with God and Jesus.

Prayer Ministry Training

The Wednesday evening Connect group and men’s groups hosted a Prayer Ministry Training Course during the month of February.

It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended.  Some people received tangible healing, others received new spiritual gifts and all were encouraged in prayer.  Many commented on the helpful video presentations by Sandy Millar (the then Rector of Holy Trinity Brompton in London) and in particular his humour and gentleness.

We also enjoyed practicing what we were learning in a safe environment, with the opportunity to ask questions and discuss as we were going along. As someone put it “it was daunting at first but so satisfying to be doing and not just listening”.

22 people attended the course, with 15 people attending all three sessions.  Nearly all expressed an interest in further training.  We are looking forward to continuing to learn and grow in this very important and encouraging ministry of Christ.

Verity Murray

Opportunities in Your Church

Belonging at St Nic’s

At St Nic’s we love and follow Jesus and so love and serve one another in kindness. Kindness originally links to the notion of kindred, a family relationship. This is expressed practically as the church body lives out its life together.

We are the Body of Christ 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, serving in our homes, at work and at play. This calling is more than just gathering on a Sunday. We express being kind to one another by offering lifts, sharing meals, praying for one another, shopping for those in need, and alerting our pastoral care team to more specific needs. It can also mean serving in a more formal role within the Church community.

Sunday Services

  • Welcomers: Welcoming guests and regular members on arrival with distribution of newsletter and assistance as required.
  • Children’s Ministry: Godly Play has roles for Storytellers and Doorpersons (see Karen D.)
  • Eucharist Assistants: help prepare for Eucharist and assist in serving during the service and cleaning utensils afterwards.
  • Sound: setting up and running appropriate sound for the various services we offer (see Alf H.)
  • Overheads: running the visuals on the overheads for the service (see Dannielle B.)
  • Worship: vocals, keyboard, guitar, drums, or possibly another musical talent not listed?
  • Readers: for reading the various readings during the service
  • Intercessions: leading our public prayers
  • Preaching and teaching: this requires training towards Licensed Lay Minister status.
  • Hospitality: Ensuring the availability of beverages and biscuits, assisting with cleaning up afterwards.

Blessing & Outreach

  • Op Shop volunteer (see Judy B.)
  • Little Lambs volunteer (see Barbara G.)
  • Lending Library (see Jan C.)
  • Wednesdays Dinners (see Verity M. or Kate H.)
  • Nourish Kids (see Carli K.): providing childcare for the Nourish Women’s group is an incredible blessing to the mums who attend and study God’s word together.
  • Parish Council: nominations will open in October for our 2019 Parish Council.
  • Mission Secretary: we are still in need of someone who is called to this position.
  • Alpha and other courses such as Boundaries: prayer for those who attend, and for Holy Spirit led invitations to people beyond our church community. Provision of hospitality or as a small group leader.

Small Groups Ministry

  • involvement in small groups
  • leading small groups: this requires discussion and oversight from the parish priest.
  • youth ministry: soon we will have a real need for a youth ministry to nurture and grow the faith of our older children.

General Operations

  • administration/ volunteering in the office (see Sophie P. or Ian C.)
  • assist our Site Management Team with maintenance and repairs of the church buildings and grounds, including the Historic Church (see Tony W.)

As a community we want to celebrate and acknowledge those who serve in these roles. By listing them here we can pray specifically for those areas in our church. If there is an area that interests you or you feel called into serving please speak to Rev Jamie or a team member.

Adapted from Opportunities in Your Church by St Nicholas Minster.


My First Alpha Evening: “The chocolate was an added bonus.”

The comments above were made by participants of the Alpha course, after attending the first session at St Nicholas last week.

Alpha is an introduction to the Christian Faith. It is for those on the fringes of faith or who are not really sure what they believe. It’s also a great refresher course for anyone who’s been a Christian for a while but would like to learn more. Alpha provides an opportunity to explore some of the big questions of life. A typical evening involves food, a video presentation, and a group discussion.

Each week focuses on a different question. The topic for discussion for the first evening was ‘Who is Jesus?’ Some of the questions we will be exploring in the next few weeks are: Why did Jesus die? How can I have faith? Why and how do I pray?

It’s not too late to join us! If your curiosity has been stirred, please do contact the office via the website, or come along to the Wednesday dinner at the church building at 5.45pm followed by the Alpha course at 6.45pm. You will be very welcome!

By Verity Murray

Focus on Prayer

It has been a fruit filled few weeks within the life of our community here at St Nicholas. On Saturday 3rd June we organized the church building with a number of prayer stations to help us join in with the global ‘Thy Kingdom come’ prayer initiative. I would like to thank all of you who came along and took time to join me in prayer and especially Verity Murray and Karen Dennison for setting up such excellent resources.  We will run this kind of prayer opportunity again, come and join in next time if you missed the opportunity.  Last Saturday morning we had our Alpha Holy Spirit sessions. It was  lovely to see God meet people where they were and through the Holy Spirit assure them of His love and presence. Thank you to all involved in making this happen.

It was my privilege on Sunday to take Jan Jarvis and Margaret Thompson with me to train up leaders in prayer ministry at All Saint’s Donnybrook. Once again the Lord blessed those involved and we look forward to praying with people attending the Alpha courses to be run this year from All Saints.

Please ensure you have a copy of the June Prayer focus and intercede with me for God’s kingdom to come in and through us here at St Nicholas.



Getting Ready, Wondering and Godly Play Training

When is a training course like a retreat?  When it’s a Godly Play training course! 

At the end of April Shirley Busby, Karen Dennison and myself, along with 9 others, took part in a 3 day Godly Play training course in Bunbury, led by Brenton Prigge from the Uniting Church in Busselton and Carolyn Handley from Sydney.   Our intention was to learn how to deliver the Godly Play programme effectively to the children at the 10am services at St Nick’s – but we got so much more than we bargained for.  We also came away blessed, refreshed and revived in our own inner being. 

Godly Play is much more than a teaching programme.  It is founded on principles which help us, whatever our age, to engage with God through scripture by ‘getting ready’, ‘wondering’ and responding at a deeper level to what we see and hear.  We were able to learn through taking part in the stories as the children do, and found that God met us profoundly in our own personal ‘response time’.  We also were coached through our own story telling and grew in confidence to tell the stories without a script, to not be afraid of silence, and to allow listeners to make their own connections with the story.   Godly Play is a different way of telling bible stories – it allows us to see things from a different angle – and all of us on the course were surprised that we saw things in familiar bible stores that we hadn’t seen before.

Karen, Shirley and I are looking forward to continue to grow in using these principles – not only on Sunday mornings, but with the Nourish kids on Fridays and in our small groups.  If you are part of any of those groups, you may hear  phrases  like “Let’s get  ready . . .?”  and  “I wonder . . .” being used . . . I wonder where Godly Play will take us next?!

Verity Murray

Our Father in heaven

We are now in our season of Easter, an exciting time leading to Pentecost and the out pouring of the Holy Spirit.  During this time we are holding our Alpha Courses beginning on Wednesday 26th April @6pm and Friday 28th April @9.30am.  People can register by email ( or by filling out the registration form and placing in the box near the entrance of the church.  Also during this Easter time, following on from the prayer course we will be joining the Diocese in praying the Lord’s Prayer in the form of prayer stations. This Sunday you will notice the first of our stations – ‘Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name’.  This is an invitation for you to connect with God as the perfect father.  At this station, I invite you to sit before the portrait and images and consider what it means for God to be the perfect Father.  The Lord’s Prayer invites us to speak directly to God as Father, and we are invited to be a part of His family.

Yours in Christ



How do I pray? A prayer course @St Nicks

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“Lord, teach us to pray . . . “.  Jesus’ disciples watched Jesus praying and wanted to learn how to do it themselves.  In response Jesus gave them the Lord’s Prayer.  Throughout the six weeks of Lent we have the opportunity to learn and grow more in prayer too, by participating in The Prayer Course: six interactive sessions for small groups, based on the Lord’s prayer, covering topics such as intercession, dealing with disappointment, learning to listen and spiritual warfare.  The course has been produced by Alpha International and 24-7 Prayer, and features teaching by Pete Greig, founder of 24-7 prayer.

As Pete Greig says, ‘Prayerfulness doesn’t just get beamed down on super-saints . . . it is the heart and soul of every aspect of our relationship with God’.  However, if we are honest, most of us need help with prayer.  Come and join us and see where this adventure with prayer may lead you!

  When:  Tuesdays 3.00-4.30pm starting on February 28th venue to be announced

                Wednesdays 7.00-8.30pm at the church building starting on March 1st

                Mondays 2.00-3.30pm at the church building starting on March 6th

Find out more at or talk to Jamie or Verity Murray

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Have you encountered Jesus?

Many of us are involved with the Alpha course. Last week we had 54 adults and 14 youth go through Alpha. Thank you to each one of you taking part in the groups and our group hosts.  You are blessing one another. Thank you to Fran and Rob for enabling our hospitality and for our faithful children’s carers on Friday: Jan, John, Andrea and Anne.   

 One of the striking things in Alpha is the power of story. What we often call testimony. As I prepared today’s talk on Zacchaeus I was struck once again with the power of testimony. I wrote about this in our blog post, His-story in Me and newsletter (Aug 7th) and enjoyed Rob’s recent testimony on his Wescarpade and Camp Quality experiences. (Oct 4th)

 What happens when we encounter Jesus?  I have been talking with Karen about how we might release testimony in our community. Some of you have walked with Jesus for a considerable time and it would be wonderful to hear some of your insights. How did you first encounter Jesus? What have been some of the highlights of walking and talking with him? What have you found challenging? What has helped you most in your ongoing relationship with Jesus?

Please consider getting involved in this initiative and speak with me or Karen.  I am praying for video conversations that we could use in services and on our website. Zacchaeus’ story still speaks today. Your story may well encourage and help someone else.




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Explore the meaning of life #TryAlpha

Everyone has questions.

We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view.  Part of our call as Minster parish is to support Mission beyond ourselves and so we are choosing to run Alpha to help people explore the meaning of life.  On Wednesday 7th we hosted a training event for Alpha small group leaders in the South West.  It was run by David and Kim Stanfield who are Alpha facilitators for WA and was open to all the churches in the area. We had 14 participants from different churches: Bunbury Salvation Army, Abundant Life Centre Busselton and two from Dream Makers church Bunbury, and 14 representatives from St Nicholas.


Both Kim and David brought a professional and experienced training full of helpful insight and anecdote. Lois Eckersley did a wonderful job of overseeing our lunch and evening meal.  Thank you again to her and those of you who assisted with this.

The thinking behind an Alpha discussion group is to create a space where people can freely ask questions and explore their thoughts in response to the film teaching of the day.  It is an environment where anything can be asked without fear of it being too obvious or small.

We try to avoid closing down discussion with trite, formulaic answers.

Instead the group can explore thoughts together. That is why the group leaders are called hosts rather than teachers.  We will be using the most recently produced Alpha Film Series. It brings testimony from varied people throughout and journeys around the world with people contributing from a variety of perspectives and cultures.

In order for us to fully realise the potential of Alpha I will be asking for prayer support for each person on the course. Sunday evenings will focus on this as well. If you are interested in being part of a focused Alpha Intercession team please speak to me. As part of the course we take an additional day together which will be on Saturday 19th November. If you are one of the 54 people registered please put this in your diary!  It is going to be a great day together welcoming the Holy Spirit among us.

Shalom Jamie