The Light Project is a diverse group of people with a big heart to let others have a real experience of Jesus!

Most people in the UK have no real idea whatsoever why Jesus came, what he did and what change he can bring. So we work with churches and other groups to dream up and encourage others to find ways of making Jesus the talk of the town: we run and support a variety of projects from outreach to people who are homeless to evangelism courses, from schools work to street art, from city centre chaplaincy to youth clubs, from preaching to urban festivals. Over the past 16 years we have grown from one person serving people who are homeless on the streets of Chester to a growing Network of teams across the UK who long for others to connect with the good news of Jesus.

I am still in some aftershock at the impression that it made on me, hugely impressive. The network of the churches, the scale of the project, the atmosphere within the building and the clear commitment to excellence, godliness, evangelism and mission were really outstanding, in my opinion.

The Rt Revd Keith Sinclair

The Bishop of Birkenhead

Our vision is BIG – we want millions of people to experience Jesus in a real way in our generation and the next. The way we do that is threefold:

1 – We want to multiply the number of churches and people who will be willing and able to take this good news to others. We do this through training courses, taster events, working with individuals, churches and denominations to develop a network of missional people.

2 – We want to sharpen how we do evangelism. We  conduct research and are constantly trialling new ideas and well as  exploring and adapting old techniques so we can reach people effectively in ways that make sense.The Light Project is a melting pot of creative people and new ideas.

3 – We want to make sure that we single out those places where people will be least likely to experience Jesus.  While that may sounds self-evident, it is not always the case. Some of those places are not the most appealing.

A board of trustees including business people, academics and cross-denomination church leaders hold us to this vision and strategy.

As well as a growing team of evangelists who are exploring relevant ways to be the light to the world, we train people through a gap year or our Foundation Degree in Theology and Evangelism, accredited by the University of Chester. We also run different training events and weekends – get in touch for more details of when these run.
Chester University logo

Who’s behind it?

Chris Duffett founded The Light Project in September 2000. The idea for the name ‘Light Project’ came after a young adult asked if they could train for a year’s discipleship with Chris as what they saw was like ‘light’ on the streets through what he did. Since then over 200 people have trained with The Light Project and have gone on to shine with the good news of Jesus in the workplace or in full time Christian ministry as evangelists and church leaders. Chris is also an artist, poet, author and Baptist minister who served as President of the Baptist Union in 2012-2013. As part of his role with The Light Project he serves as Peterborough’s city centre chaplain and runs Lighthouse café in Great Gransden.

Anina Thomas directs the Light Project Chester with Gaz. She was a student at the Light Project about six years ago and has never left! She is passionate about Jesus and this leads her to simultaneously love disciplining followers into fullness of life as well as communicating the wonderful gospel in new ways, especially to those “on the edge”. Last year, she led the Chester students and a prison ministry to young male offenders. She has also written a book called “Re:Union”, which practically helps people into a closer relationship with God whilst sharing some of the mystical encounters of her relationship with Jesus.

The Light Project College is led by Glyn Jones who is, an ordained Anglican Minister.

‘Evangelism has for too long, been neglected in academic circles – for me, the simplicity and wonder of the Good News of Jesus should always go hand in hand with a rich creativity and the wisdom of an enquiring and curious mind.

I lived in France for many years and my wife and kids are Franglais – I love food, wine, meeting new people and seeing new things. I have a taste for life and a heart for those seeking it. Currently doing a Professional Doctorate, I lecture in history and sociology and enjoy mostly walking the city streets and letting people know how God feels about them in creative ways.

Gareth Thomas is one of the Directors of The Light Project, and is responsible for leading the Chester community (alongside his wife and Co-Director, Anina). He has a real desire to learn, in community, what it means to follow Jesus as simply as possible, and for the Gospel to be shared and experienced as truly ‘Good News’. Gaz especially meets with God in the outdoors and in nature, and also loves reading, film and theatre. He’s an ordained Anglican priest and novice Franciscan tertiary who also works as a Chaplain at The University of Chester.

We are supported by a wide range of church leaders who serve as our council of reference:

Council of Reference

Rt Revd Dr P.R. Forster – Bishop of Chester
Rt Revd James Newcome – Bishop of Penrith
Rt Revd Keith Sinclair – Bishop or Birkenhead
Rev. Alan McWilliam – Church of Scotland,
Rev. Andy Glover – Hoole Baptist Church, Chester
Rev. James Lawrence – C.P.A.S.
Rev. Phil Jump – Regional Minister North West
Debra Green – Redeeming Our Communities
Canon Paul Duffett – Anglican (Ret’d)
Dr. Nic Harding – Frontline Church, Liverpool
Rev Jon Phillips – Pioneer Minister

Study with us on a Degree Course!

FdA in Theology & Evangelism

The Light Project is an official partner of the University of Chester and delivers a Foundation Degree of Arts (FdA) in Theology and Evangelism accredited, validated and awarded by the University.

Find out more

Average number of people we reveal Jesus to each week

Number of students who we have trained

Number of volunteers involved in our projects