New national support network for Chinese-heritage clergy

One of our priests from the Leeds area has been part of the launch of a new national support network for clergy and ordinands of Chinese heritage.

The Revd Dave Young (Chinese name: ??? Ho Ming Lun), vicar of St Barnabas’ Alwoodley and St Paul’s Shadwell, took part in the launch of The Teahouse in London last week. 

Dave, whose father is Hong Kong Chinese and whose mother was white British, is one of only 0.2% stipendiary clergy in the Church of England who have Chinese heritage. 

He is also the only clergyperson with Chinese heritage in the Diocese of Leeds.

The Teahouse is a network of clergy and ordinands across the Church of England who share a Chinese heritage. 

It was founded by the Revd Mark Nam, a curate in the Diocese of Bristol, and began in 2020 with a WhatsApp group and Zoom meetings. 

The Teahouse celebrated its launch with its first in-person meeting in London recently.

Eleven clergy and six ordinands met for worship at Southwark Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields (where there is a Cantonese and Mandarin speaking congregation), as well as a lunch in Chinatown and a gathering with Chinese community leaders at the China Exchange in Soho. 

Speaking of The Teahouse, the Revd Mark Nam said: “The aim of The Teahouse is to support and empower clergy with Chinese-heritage in the Church of England by promoting their presence in all structures of the Church, creating connections and providing information and resources. 

“I hope that in the years to come, the Teahouse will have a real impact on the life of the church and the wider community in helping to reflect the diversity in our country.”

The Archbishop of York, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the formal launch of the Teahouse group. 

“What a wonderful development in our journey towards becoming a church that truly reflects and values the great diversity of life in modern Britain. 

“Seeing groups like this come forward fills me with hope.”

The launch of The Teahouse also comes at a time when thousands of British National Overseas Passport holders from Hong Kong are arriving in the UK. 

This is a unique opportunity to engage in welcome for large numbers of Chinese people from Hong Kong, and something that many of members of The Teahouse are involved in in their dioceses.

The Revd Dave Young said: “With the arrival of many people from Hong Kong over recent months, it is really important that the Church plays a key part in welcoming them to our communities and to our churches. 

“Chinese people have been making Britain their home for many decades and I hope that we can all play our part in welcoming this next wave of new arrivals. 

“In Leeds, we are hoping to organise welcome events for Hong Kongers in the near future.”

For any new arrivals from Hong Kong in Leeds and West Yorkshire who would like to make contact with the Revd Dave Young, he can be contacted on:

More information about The Teahouse can be found here:

Photo credit of WonSeok Kin.

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