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Church work to support Hong Kong arrivals in Leeds makes national news

First published on: 25th September 2023

The welcome given to arrivals from Hong Kong by one of our churches is profiled in a national magazine this week.

Revd Dave Ho Young, vicar at St Barnabas, Alwoodley, Leeds spent a recent sabbatical researching migration from Hong Kong and met with Cindy Yu, assistant editor at the Spectator magazine and host of the ‘Chinese Whispers’ podcast.

A expert on China and Hong Kong, Cindy originally comes from Nanjing in China, emigrated to Britain as a child, and now is a leading commentator on Chinese politics, society and culture.

Revd Dave, who has Hong Kong Chinese heritage has been working with his congregation to support people from Hong Kong since the UK Government changed the rules in 2021 to allow Hong Kong citizens with British National (Overseas) passports to come and live in the UK. St Barnabas now runs a successful informal English classes programme for Hong Kongers and has a number of the congregation who come from Hong Kong.

Following on from their meeting in London, Cindy (pictured with Revd Dave) came to Leeds in June to visit St Barnabas to research a story in the Spectator, which has been published this week.

Through interviewing a range of new arrivals she was able to articulate the reasons why so many have come to Britain and hear some of the stories behind what is the largest, and often invisible, migration to the UK in modern times.

With those Hong Kongers she met at St Barnabas, she explored some of the challenges that they are facing in their new home, including the difficulty in finding jobs, navigating British society and culture, and gaining confidence in speaking English.

Cindy said: “Not all were religious but they all found the church’s embrace helpful when it came to finding their way in a new country.”

You can read Cindy’s article featuring the work of St Barnabas’ Alwoodley here:

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