Leader of HTB Nicky Gumbel, renowned for establishing the Alpha course over twenty years ago, was the first to speak at the main session on Monday morning, opening the conference with a talk on the power of friendship.
“Friendship is the key to life and the key to relationship,” he declared. “Love permeates the New Testament, and in some cultures friendship is considered to be the highest form of love.
“In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve walked with God in intimate friendship; God said it’s not good for man to be alone. But with the fall came the damaging of friendships and the breakdown of relationships.
“And then Jesus came. He laid down his life for his friends; and restored us to friendship with God.”