We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Britain is spiritually famished. It is starved from hearing the Word of God. Churches that focus on music and Eucharist are not drawing the crowds. People want to hear something that will change their lives. They want to hear about God, who He is, and what He is doing. They do not want sermons on the environment or Labor's policies for senior citizens. The average pulpit is bereft from hearing the Word of God.
Enter ALPHA. If it wasn't for ALPHA, one wonders if the Church of England would have any relevance at all. The other truth is that if the Church of England would do its job properly, there would be no need for ALPHA.
The very fact that ALPHA exists bespeaks the failure of the church to communicate the simple verities of the gospel to ordinary people. And it took an attorney turned priest to do it. The biggest growth in cities like London is precisely because of ALPHA's outreach into the urban jungle. ALPHA has been so successful they have taken over dying churches and filled them with new converts, much to the chagrin of laissez faire vicars who believe their benefice should not be beholden to these "happy clappy evangelicals."
I've run ALPHA courses in Connecticut and Istanbul and yes, it's an excellent intro to Christianity course, if a bit light. What's needed is a second-level course, to take new Christians into a solid grounding in the faith.
I left about 20 years ago for the same reason. And I miss it terribly and haven't been able to find what is, to me, a reasonable substitute. So, I begin each day with a daily devotion from the Book of Common Prayer and end it with reading Compline. Not really a good substitute.