More than 70 new arrivals from Hong Kong have been warmly welcomed to our diocese at a special event at a Leeds church.
Families and individuals who have settled in Leeds attended St Barnabas’ Church in Alwoodley, despite freezing temperatures and high winds.
This was the first welcome event for people from Hong Kong held in the Diocese of Leeds since the announcement of the British National Overseas passport scheme to allow Hong Kong citizens to come and reside in the UK.
Chinese and English food was shared together, there were games for families, and the opportunity for newcomers to meet with parishioners.
Special guest speakers who gave helpful advice included Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton, plus local councillors and representatives from schools and GP surgeries.
The event was organised by Revd Dave Young, vicar of St Barnabas’ Alwoodley (pictured left), who is the only clergyperson of Chinese-heritage in our diocese.
“The number of people who came exceeded our expectations – which was great!” Revd Dave said.
“My father came to the UK from Hong Kong in the 1970s, so for me, it is wonderful to help welcome a new generation of Hong Kong migrants to the UK.”
“Welcome and hospitality is such an important part of our faith and I hope that the Church can play an important role in helping new arrivals to settle down well in the UK.”
Revd Dave said the Government estimates that this influx people from Hong Kong may be the biggest planned migration from outside the EU since the arrival of the Windrush generation from the Caribbean in the 1950s.
“It is important that we as a Church learn the lessons of Windrush and actively welcome new arrivals in our country, no matter where they come from,” Revd Dave said.
If you would like more information on welcoming new arrivals from Hong Kong in your church or community please visit the UKHK website: www.ukhk.org
Group image courtesy of WonSeok Kim.