RSS Feed

Planting Hong Kong congregations

Trinity Church in Earley has seen itself grow from 120 people to just over 450, including youth and children, in just 10 months through a partnership with the local Hong Kong community.

In late 2021, the church got to know the newly arrived Hong Kong Christian community settling in Reading who were then worshipping with the bilingual Cantonese and Mandarin Reading Chinese Christian Church based in Wycliffe Baptist Church.

Hong Kong congregation inside St Mary's Church WinnershThe demand for pure Cantonese worship services was growing, and after much prayer, Trinity Church opened doors and welcomed the Hong Kong community into her midst.  And thus, the Hong Kongers Ministry was started on Resurrection Sunday in April 2022.

The team at Trinity Church and the Hong Kong Pastor, Siew Yin Chan, quickly found they shared a vision to partner together and to find ways to become as integrated as possible and to form one church family.

The church now has three Sunday services – two English speaking services in the morning, with some Hong Kongers joining these services, and an afternoon Cantonese service which sees around 250 adults and 100 children and young people gathering for worship. A partnership with the neighbouring Salvation Army provides a space to host the young people and children’s work each week.

The Revd Jon Salmon, Vicar of Trinity Church, shared:

“The vision was always to integrate the Hong Kongers into the whole life of Trinity, as one church with shared leadership, governance, finance and teaching. This is happening gradually and feels very exciting – it’s something we never anticipated but fits in with what we sensed the Holy Spirit saying as we came through the pandemic about re-imagining the church and not simply building-back. The message was new wine and new wine skins.”

“Trinity very quickly became, in their words “a spiritual home” for the Hong Kongers, and I’m thankful how we’ve welcomed them and together are finding friendship. Support for it definitely feels like a two-way street. We have been humbled by the generosity of the Hong Kong community and their willingness to volunteer to serve and support the church. I had the joy of baptising nine Hong Kongers at the church in October.”

At the end of 2022, working with Revd Canon Liz Jackson, the Associate Archdeacon of Berkshire, a grant from the Diocese was awarded to the church to fund Siew Yin as a full-time resourcing pastor for the Hong Kongers and to begin exploring planting new Cantonese congregations. The first of these is underway working with Sonning Deanery and St Mary’s Church in Winnersh. An initial group of 20 people from the Hong Kong congregation are leading the plant and they hope to welcome two new pastors from Hong Kong later in 2023.

Pastor Siew Yin shares more about the Hong Kong congregation plant:

“Over 50 Hong Kongers joined the first fellowship meeting at St Mary’s at the beginning of February, which is a real encouragement.  We are meeting twice a month on a Saturday afternoon and plan to launch a weekly worship service in May. We hope to be able to plant a second congregation in the future, in Caversham to reach and cater for the many Hong Kongers living in that area of Reading.

“We are so thankful for the leadership team and congregation at Trinity Earley and the blessing they have been to the Hong Kong congregation and the welcome they have offered us.”

Pastor Siew Yin has been running annual evangelism events focused on outreach to the Hong Kong community living in and around Reading, the events attract hundreds of people. In the November event, 10 people committed their lives to God. The next event will be in the spring, with a famous Hong Kong music group and hopefully even more will turn to Christ.

Growing new congregations

Nurturing worshipping communities of every type, tradition, shape, and size is one of the key common vision areas of the diocese. We long to see more people from every part of our diverse diocese come to know Jesus, through fresh expressions of church, revitalisations, grafts and new church plants, language fellowships, the faithful work that currently exists, and new opportunities within our parishes. 

Page last updated: Tuesday 18th April 2023 11:47 AM
Powered by Church Edit