The charity which runs Alpha, the 10-week introductory course to Christianity which has been attended by more than 10 million people around the world, has bought a six-storey office building in central London to grow the course and its associated ministries still further.
Alpha International has purchased 5-7 Cromwell Road, a large terraced building opposite the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, for £7.8 million. It will house most of the charity’s staff as well as most of the staff of Holy Trinity Brompton, where the course began.
The building is in Holy Trinity Brompton’s parish and stands almost equidistant between the home churches of Holy Trinity and St Paul’s Onslow Square, the two churches which currently house the 180-strong Alpha/Holy Trinity staff.
It is proposed that around 150 members of staff will relocate to the new building, thus releasing large areas of space on the two church sites for pastoral activities – youth and children’s groups, Alpha courses, Marriage and Family Life courses, tots and toddlers, social transformation projects, and other community activities.
The financing of the purchase has yet to be finalised. A number of donors have already expressed a desire to contribute towards the purchase of the building.
Alpha currently has offices in 36 countries and is supported by all the world’s major denominations.
Ken Costa, Chairman of Alpha International, said, ‘During the last 10 years Alpha International has worked from an assortment of offices in a Church of England parish to develop a worldwide ministry.
‘The purchase of 5-7 Cromwell Road will provide us with an appropriate headquarters from which to fulfil our aim of resourcing local churches around the world and transforming the society of which we are all a part.’
Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton and pioneer of the Alpha course, said, ‘For many years the work of Alpha and the church community of which it is a part here at Holy Trinity Brompton has been in need of space.
‘This new building will enable the work of the charity and the church to expand in ways which are hugely exciting.’
NOTE: Contracts for the purchase were exchanged on Monday, December 31. Completion will take place in three months.