Bristol minister leads national church service marking Chinese New Year

First published 18th January 2023

The Revd Mark Nam, the Diocesan Minority Ethnic Vocations Champion, will lead the Church of England’s national online service this weekend (Sunday 22 Jan) marking Chinese New Year.

The service includes contributions from a number of other Chinese heritage clergy in other dioceses.

“Usually the service is from just one church,” says Mark. “But I wanted this service to represent the voices of as many Chinese heritage clergy as possible,” he says.

The Revd Dave Young shares his experience of an ‘English cafe’ run for Hong Kongers in his church in Leeds. The Revd Tim Yau in the Diocese of Norwich interviews a recent arrival from the former British colony about the welcome he’s received from the Church of England. Other contributions include the Lord’s Prayer recited in Cantonese by an ordinand Kenson Li.

Mark’s sermon uses the biblical reading of the strangers from the east seeking the birth place of the Christ child.

“We’re still in Epiphany and the good tidings brought by strangers from the east is very timely. The message is important for the Church. If you read the passage, God’s people in the city on the hill didn’t see the star. It was the enquires of foreigners who prompted the priests and teachers to examine the law more closely. So the question for us all is, ‘are we open to receiving those from other places?’”

“The contributions from almost a dozen different dioceses were all shot in churches with very little notice,” says Mark. He recorded his in the United Church in Longwell Green, which is a Methodist and Anglican Local Ecumenical Partnership.

The service goes live on the Church of England website at 9am this Sunday.

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