Find out how by contacting us at:
China Church Solidarity(CCS)
12 Blakesley Avenue
Tel: 078 7622 8664
Thanks for visiting our new website. Browse it to find out more about us and China.
From the chair:
Welcome to the FCC summer ‘Update’. Many thanks to those who have written and collated these various items. In what follows you will read Angela Evans’ report on the June meeting of the European Network of Amity Partners (ENAP) in Helsinki. Our recent Amity visitor Ms Lu Yi reflects on her time in the UK, and FCC member Dave Young writes about his recent sabbatical in Hong Kong.
This ‘Update’ ends with dates for two FCC Annual Meetings! This year, we meet on Saturday November 25th, 2023. Don’t miss it! Next year, we plan to meet on October 5th (the first Saturday after FCC’s 40th birthday on September 29th, 2024) at a new location. Please make a note of these two dates: November 25th 2023 and October 5th 2024. Read on below about how we plan that these two meetings will be both in-person and online (we call them ‘hybrid’ meetings). You can choose whether to attend in person or to join with others online.
A new prayer diary is sent with this Update. Thanks to John Austen for this.
Ads you pray, please remember Ruth Conway. Martin (a former chair of FCC) died in January this year aged 87. I was glad to represent FCC, alongside other members, at his funeral in SS Mary & John church in Oxford.
1. Visit to the UK by Ms Lu Yi from Amity Foundation
Lu Yi is a valued member of staff from the Amity Foundation in Nanjing, who was recommended to us for continuing professional staff development, in learning about British culture, language and how UK charities manage communication within their organization.
She enjoyed 5 weeks in the UK, from May 28th to June 30th and claims she had a fabulous time and will treasure it immensely. We are very grateful to several FCC and SCCG members who hosted her and facilitated her travel. Lu Yi participated in two ‘in-person’ meetings in Oxford and London. The former was in a hybrid format, so all could take part, whether online or in person.
Lu Yi worked hard by visiting 13 cities, 21 charities and 8 on-site projects. She observed positive aspects such as the brand and professionalism of charities such as Oxfam and Christian Aid. They enjoy good relations with the media and the public, so that the UK government gives these charities (along with some other large UK charities) free media coverage when the government declares a situation to be an emergency. Connection is
valued by other charities as they use effective email systems to connect and target supporters with relevant information, using ‘MailChimp’ and ‘Infoodle’. Some charities network and build strong links through involving volunteers. Small amounts of money can make a big difference to people’s lives as they focus on core aims and consider the psychological impact of financial appeals. The Eric Liddell Community in Edinburgh said “we are not doing something massive, we just want everything to be excellent.”
Cultural experiences included food such as Toad-in-the-Hole, rhubarb and black pudding. Only the latter got the thumbs down! Lu Yi had the opportunity to chat with her hosts about a huge range of cultural aspects and enjoyed visiting iconic buildings such as Westminster Abbey.
In Lu Yi’s own words: ‘I am very much impressed by the rich history, the politeness of people, the caring for the environment, the sincerity of friends, the healthy lifestyle, the selfless contribution, the love shared among
people. Although this is my first time to the UK, the virtues, the kindness, everything, are so touched and deep in my mind... What are the common things we share? What can we do together for a better future?’
FCC has supported a range of Amity projects over many years, for which we can access up-to-date
information from the Amity English Website – see below on how to access it.
Using Google Chrome, the steps are as follows (using the ‘1000 day project’ as an example):
1. open Google Chrome and accept automatic translation
3. Cick the tab "Domestic Projects"
4. Find the name of the project you wish to know about eg the FCC supported project
‘Earth Sprouts Maternal and Infant Health care’ Click on it (the Chinese name is 大地新芽母
5. Details of the project should appear.
To check the other projects, on the 3rd step you can choose "Domestic Projects" or
"International Projects" and you will see all the details.
2. ENAP conference in Helsinki. (English Network of Amity Partners)
Angela Evans kindly attended this conference in June
as the FCC representative. She reports briefly:
Churches and charities in the UK are in a very
different position from most of the other European
partners as FCC and SCCG have no state support. Our
involvement in capacity building for Amity staff is
very distinctive. Although the team from Amity visits
Geneva and sometimes churches in Finland and
Germany, these short trips are very different from
what FCC is doing. Our hosting an Amity staff
member such as Ms Lu Yi is very much appreciated
by Amity and helps build deep friendships. Angela
was able to have a conversation with Ms She Hongyu
about FCC continuing to support various Amity
projects. With our match funding opportunities,
these contributions are warmly received. There was
a lengthy discussion among delegates about a
document updating the aims of ENAP and how it
works, but as yet nothing conclusive has been
3. Sabbatical in Hong Kong – FCC member Rev Dave Young reports:
This year I have been fortunate to have a sabbatical which ran from March to June and included a visit to Hong Kong towards the end of the sabbatical. The main focus of my study has been to understand British National Overseas - otherwise known as BN(O) - migration to the UK, gain a greater understanding of the politics of China and Hong Kong, and to understand the history and current ministry of the Anglican church in Hong Kong - The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSKH).
Over the past two years one of my parishes in North Leeds hasseen a growing number of new arrivals from Hong Kong coming to settle in the parish and coming to worship at one of my churches. To respond to this growth, we have also been providing informal English classes for new arrivals from Hong Kong in conjunction
with the charity, FaithAction. My own family background has also contributed towards this work with new arrivals from Hong Kong. My father is Hong Kong Chinese but sadly I was never taught Cantonese as a child. Given the dovetailing of my professional and personal lives through the arrivals BN(O)s in my parish, the focus of my sabbatical seemed a natural one.
While I was in the UK I had a range of meetings with experts on Hong Kong and China to try and understand some of the broader issues involved and to deepen my own expertise. Some of the experts I met included Dr Caroline Fielder (Lecturer in Chinese at Leeds University), Bishop David Urquhart (Episcopal Envoy to China), Professor Steve Tsang (Director of SOAS China Institute), Cindy Yu (Journalist at The Spectator and host of Chinese Whispers podcast), Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint (Anglican priest, former chair of HSBC and former government minister) and Dr Yinxuan Huang (Researcher at the Bible Society). It was also great to meet with Godfrey and Dot Stone to hear more about FCC and the work this organisation has been doing to foster friendships between Chinese and British Christians over many years.
Towards the end of my sabbatical my family and I made the trip to Hong Kong. The purpose of this trip was to visit my family there (both my father and my half-sister live in Hong Kong) and also to understand more about the HKSKH. I’m very grateful to FCC member Rev. Will Newman for facilitating my meetings in Hong Kong and for introducing me to a range of Anglican leaders in the city. Among others I was able to meet Most Rev. Andrew Chan (Archbishop of Hong Kong), Rt Rev. Matthias Der (Bishop of Hong Kong Island), Very Rev. KK Chan (Dean of St John’s Cathedral), Very Rev. Frankie Lee (Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral and FCC member) and Rev. Professor Philip Wickeri (HKSKH Provincial Archivist). Through meeting each of these people, and many others, I was able to understand how such a unique province as the HKSKH, which is the only Anglican church in the People’s Republic of China, came into being and how the HKSKH are continuing to share the good news of Jesus and working as a force for good for all in Hong Kong. What was clear through my research was the impact that this wave of migration out of Hong Kong has had on all congregations, not just Anglican churches, and the way that the HKSKH is wanting to heal the divisions in Hong Kong society and work constructively with the Hong Kong SAR Government.
While there have been many things I have learned over the course of my sabbatical, perhaps the most important outcomes have been the need
to continue in the work of friendship with the people of Hong Kong and China. The political tensions between the UK and China make it incredibly important for those with a knowledge and love of China
and her people to act as bridge builders between our two nations and also to educate wider British society on the complexities of Chinese society. There will always be differences between us, but
that makes it more important to invest in a deepening relationship with China, while at the same time
being wise to the unique political situation in Hong Kong and understanding the reasons for the mass migration of people from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom. For our parish churches, pastoral care and practical support of those from Hong Kong in our congregations and communities is perhaps the most important response we can give at this time, and in order to do this well church leaders and congregations need to understand the bigger picture and the complex issues at play here. What is clear from my research is that knowledge and understanding of China and Hong Kong is very limited within the British population and also within the Church as a whole. Given the growing importance of China in geopolitics and given that Britain has become home to a very large number of Hong Kong citizens over a very short period of time it is vital that this lack of understanding and knowledge be remedied.
4. Books on China: Free to a good home!
Kind offer from John Paton firstname.lastname@example.org
The following books are available at no cost and can be posted to anyone in the UK offering to give them a good home. Please contact John as above
• Neither Bang nor Whimper, the end of a missionary era in China by George Hood
• Unfinished Encounter, China and Christianity by Bob Whyte
• RO: The life and times of Bishop Hall of Hong Kong by David Paton
• Red Tape and The Gospel: a study of the significance and ecumenical missionary
struggle of William Paton (1886 - 1943)
Other snippets of news:
Godfrey and Dot Stone travel to China, from 21 August until 20 September 2023. They are joined for a time by Lydia Morey at the beginning and John Austen at the end of their visit. While in China, they hope to travel from place to place by high-speed train, and to enjoy exploring some of the major cities. Among many others, we hope to see friends of FCC, including Dr Luo Chengzan (he has just moved from Hebei Bible School to become a staff member at the Yanjing seminary in Beijing).
Dates for your diary: Two annual meetings
1) In 2023, we meet on November 25th in the Desmond Tutu room at St Martin in the Fields.
The meeting is expected to run from (10.30am for) 11am, ending by 4pm.
There will be only 25 places available for those meeting in-person (but an unlimited
number online). Please respond promptly requesting one of these places to Ian
Blaney our General Secretary. email@example.com
Our keynote speaker is Philip Wickeri, who is well known as the archivist of the church in Hong Kong and biographer for the late Bishop K H Ding (1915 – 2012). He is part of an active network of historians of Christianity in China. There will be a number of other contributors from both China and the UK.
2) In 2024, FCC will be forty years old! On Saturday 5th October, we expect to meet for an early Annual Meeting, with a flavour of 40 years as well as pointers for the future, at the Christian Medical Fellowship in Borough, London SE1 1HL (6 Marshalsea Road). This will again be a ‘hybrid’ meeting. The room can easily accommodate over 40 people.
Friends of the Church in China is a UK Registered Charity, no 1004221. Webmaster: FriendsChuChina@aol.com
For membership details contact the Membership Sec, Dot Stone. firstname.lastname@example.org Mob. +44 (0)7810-585450
Please remember Du Nana as she completes writing her doctoral thesis
this year in the UK before returning to resume teaching at the Shandong
Seminary. Her husband Wang Wei is in Shandong province, combining work for the Christian Council with studying for a further degree.
All members of FCC have a bridge- building role in the UK. The political
tensions between the UK and China make it important for those with a
knowledge and love of China and her people to act as bridge builders
between our two nations, and to educate wider British society on the
complexities of Chinese society. We pray that we see and use
opportunities as they arise.
We pray for all those offering pastoral care and practical support in our congregations and communities for the people who are settling here in the UK from Hong Kong.
Friends of the Church in China is a UK Registered Charity, no 1004221.
Webmaster: FriendsChuChina@aol.com https://twitter.com/FriendsCChina
For membership details visit the FCC website, or contact the Membership Sec, Dot
Stone. email@example.com Mob. +44 (0)7810-585450
May friendship in Christ, and our fellowship in prayer, bind us together with brothers and sisters in China.
China Prayer Diary: August 2023
Lord, please encourage our brothers & sisters in Christ in China, help them to remain standing firm & strong in their faith, protect them & keep them safe, and provide for their every need. In Jesus' name, we pray.
FCC member Dave Young was in Hong Kong earlier this year. He writes about HKSKH, which is the only Anglican church in the People’s Republic of China, and how they are continuing to share the good news
of Jesus and working as a force for good for all in Hong Kong. “What was clear through my research was the impact that this wave of migration out of Hong Kong has had on all congregations, not just Anglican churches, and the way that the HKSKH is wanting to heal the divisions in Hong Kong society and work constructively with the Hong Kong SAR Government.”
So, we pray for all churches in Hong Kong at this difficult time, and wisdom for those who provide leadership.
In July and August, there were severe floods in Beijing and neighbouring provinces with considerable loss of life. Pray for the churches in those areas.
Dr Luo Chengzan was hosted in 2018 by FCC members in the UK for a time of study: he has just moved from Hebei Bible School to become a staff member at the Yanjing seminary in Beijing. We pray for him, for Yanjing, and for the visits by Godfrey & Dot Stone to this and other seminaries this autumn.
Window in the new chapel at Zhongnan Seminary, Wuhan
We continue to pray for both registered and ‘house’ churches in China – especially for those we may have visited or worked near or have contacts with. We pray for ways for young people to hear the Gospel – under 18’s are not officially permitted to be in church. And pray for those without work - the jobless rate for 16- to 24-year-olds in urban areas rose to 21.3% in July.
FCC AGM 2023: we meet on November 25th at St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square (this will be a ‘hybrid’ meeting. There are 25 places at SMITF, but unlimited places online). Pray for discernment in choosing a new Chair and General Secretary to succeed Godfrey Stone and Ian Blaney, and for our keynote speaker, Philip Wickeri. Pray that members there in person, and those on Zoom, can renew our commitment to friendship with each other and with the Church in China.
LuYi from the Amity Foundation spent five weeks in the UK this summer. We continue to pray for the work of Amity, and for the projects we support, including:
Sprouts on Earth: this project focuses on maternal and child nutrition in underdeveloped areas of Mainland China. The project provides continuous and in-depth services such as pregnancy check-ups, nutritional support, growth monitoring, and health education for poor women and newborns. The project aims to reduce maternal and child health risks, improve overall population quality, enhance health service capacity, and ultimately promote the sustainable development of rural revitalization.