Over the past 50 years, the church scene in many parts of Britain has experienced dramatic changes. One of the most striking and significant is the growth and multiplication of Black majority churches and other churches comprised mainly of members from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia or Latin America. Many other churches have also received new members from these backgrounds, some who have come as immigrants, others who were born here.

These developments have been exciting but also challenging. Not all have felt welcome in churches with a dominant ethnicity or culture. Not all new churches have thrived. Many are struggling to reach out beyond their own ethnic group or to hold on to their children. Efforts at partnership and mutual learning have often floundered. Overt and institutional racism has been evident. And yet the potential is huge for mission and church renewal!

the course

The Black Light course offers an opportunity to explore and reflect on this scenario. The course was first run in London in the 1990s as an opportunity for Black Christians to dig deeper into their history and think about contemporary challenges and opportunities, and for White Christians to learn more about the history, spirituality and faith of Black Christians and churches. Black and White presenters and participants shared in a rich learning experience.

Over 20 years on, some of the issues have changed, others remain the same. There has been further growth in the Black majority churches; there are more mono-ethnic churches; many of these churches are losing their young people and are still unsure how to reach out to others; and the Black Lives Matter movement has renewed consciousness of the continuing struggle against racism. The Black Light course has been revised and updated and will be offered in 2021 as an online course – eight evening sessions spread over nine weeks (with a break in the middle).


29 April

Black and White: the challenges we all face

with Les Isaac and Stuart Murray Williams

6 May

The Black Influence on Church History

with Kate Coleman

13 May

The Black Presence in the Bible

with Robert Beckford

20 May

Post-Christendom and Post-colonialism

with Ronald Nathan


3 June

Roots and Routes

with Bev Thomas

10 June

White and Black: churches in the UK today

with Ben Lindsay

17 June

Reverse Mission

with Israel Olofinjana

24 June

Partnership in Mission

with Harvey Kwiyani



Zoom call open




Session 1




Session 2


Wrap Up



The Black Light course is great opportunity to take a journey through the biblical thread of race and diversity. Whilst each module will hold its own significance, we encourage you to attend all the sessions for the bigger picture of how this impacts the outworking of our vision and calling to grow God’s Kingdom with these issues.


Full course: £80 (£40 unwaged)

Speakers & Hosts

Black Light is a joint initiative

Ascension Trust is a charitable organisation set up in 1993 to help equip people to serve. The aim is to empower the church to make a lasting positive impact in their communities and show strength through unity. This is undertaken by our initiatives such as Street Pastors, School and College Pastors, Rail Pastors, Response Pastors, Prayer Pastors and many more. With more than 25 years’ experience in community partnership development, the Ascension Trust continues to have a global reach in sharing the love of Christ by Caring, Listening and Helping.

Urban Expression is a mission agency set up in 1997 that recruits, supports and networks together teams that live in marginalised neighbourhoods across the United Kingdom, exploring creative and contextual ways to live out the gospel where they are. This may result in the planting of new churches, developing social enterprises, campaigning for justice, community organising or other forms of holistic mission. There are currently 24 teams in the network. In 2005, Urban Expression launched the Crucible course, which has equipped several hundred people for mission on the margins.


Full course: £80 (£40 unwaged)

Get in Touch

Please contact us with any questions using this form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.