Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Letter: Alpha bets

Sir: As Richard Askwith says, it is true that the Anglicanism and all other main line churches are still suffering numerical decline ("God's own spin doctor", 17 September). His proposal that Nicky Gumbel may be the Church of England's answer to Peter Mandelson misses out one matter of great significance. It could be that behind the excellent promotional techniques Alpha uses, there may indeed be a factor more important than spin. The spirit of God may be genuinely at work in Anglican churches and others, reviving faith, renewing commitment to Christian basics, and restoring to them the priceless virtue of costly Christian initiative. The wise words of Gamaliel apply: "Consider carefully... If this is of human origin it will fail... But if it is of God, you will not be able to stop these men" (Acts 5:35).


President, Baptist Union of Great Britain

London SW16