Many churches are currently offering a course entitled ''Alpha'', accompanied by the claim that it offers ''an opportunity to explore the meaning of life''. This book tests the validity of that claim and concludes that the claim could be regarded as valid only for those who already share the theological outlook of Alpha. The research suggests that for others within the church, and for those outside the church (i.e., those for whom Alpha is intended) the claim is not fulfilled. It may be that Alpha is actually performing some quite different function, so this book also addresses the question of what that function might be. The book concludes that it appears to be the expansion of its own version of Christianity within the existing church. Though the fieldwork for this research took place within just two Anglican deaneries, this book suggests that there is no reason to suppose that the results would not be repeated elsewhere. The book discusses the implications and limitations of the present research and suggests areas for further study.