Black-Led Churches in Wolverhampton
Questions for the field visit

Make sure that you each have a copy of the questions- one of you to lead on each set of questions- then others can cover and take notes.

Write out the full name of the Church, who your informant is and what his/her position is.

General questions:

o Did the first settlers from the West Indies in Wolverhampton face any racial prejudice
o if yes- what sort of things happened?
o Why did you or your family choose Wolverhampton?
o What is the significance of the name of the church?
When were black-led churches established in the local area?

o Where did most people from your congregation worship when they first came to Wolverhampton?
o Why did the community decide to set up a separate church?
o Where was the first place of worship for your community? Was it in someone’s home? Or a rented building- church hall or a school?
o When was your first purpose built church/chapel?
o How did you raise the funds for your first place of worship – how long did it take to raise the money- and how much did it cost? Did the community do the building?
o How many members did you have in the beginning? How many members do you have now? How many men/ women/ children?
o Does your church belong to a circuit/group of churches in Wolverhampton? What are the major historical developments in the local area?

o When were the first black Christian meetings?
o When was the first church opened?
o How has the attendance changed since the opening?
o Are there any activities which have been set up in the local community – religion classes/ youth/ women
o Have there been any major religious visitors to this church– from the West Indies/Africa/United States How is the religion organised in the local area?

o Which organisation does the black led church belong to?
o How long do the services last?
o What are the starting and finishing times?
o Is there more than one service per week?
o What sort of religious activities are held- and who is responsible
o Do you have a minister? What qualifications must he have? Can only men be ministers? Did he get them in this country?
o Do you have a committee- what officials- how elected – for how long?
o How are special ceremonies conducted- do they take place in the church?
o Do you celebrate all Christian festivals? (Christmas, Easter, Whitsun)
o Are there special ceremonies for Rites of passage- birth/ initiation/ marriage/ death?
o Are there separate activities for different groups? - Men/ women/ children/ youth/ elderly
o Are you involved with the wider community? If so how? (Sports clubs, youth clubs, meals on wheels, mums and toddlers) What are the issues facing the community in the local area?

o What is the average attendance rate weekly, and do any factors affect attendance?
o What links do you have with other religious communities? Are you involved in Wolverhampton Interfaith group
o Were there any problems with the surrounding neighbou­­rhood when the church was first built?
o Do you feel any prejudice in the area/ wider society?
o Are there any issues that will bring the whole black Christian community in Wolverhampton together?
o Do you find it difficult to preserve your Christian identity?
o How do the younger generation cope with the conflict between home and British culture?
o What difficulties have you faced in society by carrying / wearing your religious symbols?