Have you ever looked at the average age statistics for people who attend Church of England Churches, writes Paul Howard, Older persons advisor for the diocese.

No, well, it makes very interesting reading and what struck me was the number of people in our Churches who are over the age of 65 - 47%. That is almost half the congregation.

So, what do we do for half of our people? We do Messy Church, toddler groups, children’s work, youth groups but not enough for our older people. 

Here is your chance to put that right, put on a Senior Alpha. What is the difference between Alpha and Senior Alpha, well nothing really except the booklets are in larger type. If you have run an Alpha course before then you can run a Senior Alpha. 

You can run them in the day time around lunch so the important bit about eating together still happens.

You can host them in someone’s home or in the Church or Church Hall. I have cooked a main course and pudding, or soup and bread or just asked everyone to bring sandwiches, they all work to bring the group together.

The real joy of asking older people to come along is  that they get to meet each other and they get to meet Jesus.

To do Alpha you need an understanding of Christianity and most older people have this; even people who do not come to church remember school assemblies, Sunday School or religious education from their school days.

One of our biggest concerns for older people is loneliness, this costs the NHS millions of pounds a year, and here we are with an answer: JOIN A CHURCH.

We have half our congregation who you can ask to come along and they know friends, family and neighbours who might benefit from not only coming to Church but starting a relationship with God. 

Give it a try. If you need any help, call me: Paul Howard 07827291725.