Nicky Gumbel

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The Revd Nicky Gumbel
Nicky Gumbel
Born Nicholas Glyn Paul Gumbel
28 April 1955
Occupation Priest, theologian, author, barrister
Nationality British
Subject Evangelism, theology

Nicholas Glyn Paul "Nicky" Gumbel (born 28 April 1955) is an Anglican priest, incumbent and author. He is known as the developer of the Alpha course, a basic introduction to Christianity supported by churches of many Christian traditions.

Early life[edit]

Nicky Gumbel was born on 28 April 1955. He is the son of Walter Gumbel, a German Jew[1] from Stuttgart whose licence to practise law in that city was withdrawn in one of the early Nazi purges. Walter Gumbel emigrated to Britain and became a successful barrister. Gumbel's mother, Muriel, served on the Greater London Council for many years between 1967 and 1986 and was Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1][2]


After graduating in law in 1976, he followed in his father's footsteps and became a practising barrister.[1] Meanwhile, he became a regular worshipper at Holy Trinity Brompton Church, Knightsbridge.[3] In 1982, he announced his decision to leave the bar to train for ordination in the Church of England. In 1983, he began theological studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, from where he graduated with an honours degree in theology.[1] After some difficulty in finding a curacy, he joined the staff of his "home" church of Holy Trinity Brompton in London as a curate in 1986.[1] He was ordained priest in 1987.

Gumbel was officially installed as incumbent[4] of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in September 2005 after the Reverend Prebendary Sandy Millar retired from stipendiary ministry and became an assistant bishop in the Diocese of London.

In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gloucestershire (whose chancellor is a former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey) as recognition of his broad contribution to the wider church via Alpha.

Alpha Course[edit]

Main article: Alpha Course

In 1990, Gumbel took over the running of the Alpha Course that had been running there since 1977.[3] The course was transformed under his leadership from being one designed for new Christians to one primarily for those outside the church who would not consider themselves as Christians.[5]

He is the author of a number of books related to the Alpha course, including Questions of Life, which has sold over 1,000,000 copies. Voted "Christian Book of the Year" in 1994, it has been published in 48 languages. Other related books include Why Jesus, Searching Issues, Telling Others, A Life Worth Living, Challenging Lifestyle, Heart of Revival and 30 Days.

Personal life[edit]

Gumbel is married to Pippa and they have three adult children.


External links[edit]