The course takes ten weeks to complete (eleven weeks including the party at the end), and the dates need to be fixed before the course begins.
To maintain momentum, it’s ideal to run three courses a year – this enables a guest to ask their friends onto the next course, so it's best not to leave too big a gap between courses.
The key is to keep going because it takes a number of times to get used to how Alpha works for any situation and also because when a church first starts Alpha, the guests tend to be church members and the courses are quite large. After a while, most of the church members have done the course and the size of the course falls correspondingly. It is only after three or four courses that fringe members and non-churchgoers start filtering into the course and numbers start to rise again.