United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Can an Irish Eagle Find New Wings? Hong Kong Church Seeks Lectern After Typhoon Damage

Can an Irish Eagle Find New Wings? Hong Kong Church Seeks Lectern After Typhoon Damage
Some of the damage at St Philip’s Church.

An Anglican church in Hong Kong is appealing to parishes in the Church of Ireland who might have a brass eagle lectern they could donate. St Philip’s Church was severely damaged in September 2018 when Super Typhoon Mangkhut swept through Hong Kong. The parish has launched an appeal for HK$4 million for the extensive renovations needed but has turned to the Church of Ireland in search of a lectern.

The Church of Ireland has strong links with the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, strengthened in recent years by the work of the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission (DUFEM). DUFEM organises an exchange programme between the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong among other partnerships.

Vicar of St Philip’s, the Revd Cindy Kwok, has outlined the damage to the church which remains closed while renovations continue. Windows were broken during the typhoon which meant that wind and rain poured into the church. The altar area took the brunt of the storm with carpets and furniture destroyed. The church’s pastoral centre was also damaged. The church is situated in a relatively poor area of Hong Kong near the Chinese border.

“The renovation is ongoing at the moment and the furniture in the altar area will need to be made again. We have raised funds for the large renovation work and we still need donation for a brass eagle as the lectern. We will put a plate engraved with the donor’s name, especially for our good linkage with Anglican Church of Ireland,” she explained.

Archbishop Michael Jackson is supporting the quest for a lectern. “We have now a long standing relationship with Hong Kong through DUFEM and a number of friendships and exchanges. To be able to give a lectern would be a great way to express our links across the Anglican Communion and between parishes,” he said.

Dr Kerry Houston is DUFEM’s Hong Kong liaison officer. He described the close links between DUFEM and Cindy’s parish.

“The first exchange student from Hong Kong was Cindy Kwok. She is now rector of St Philip’s parish in the Diocese of Western Kowloon. DUFEM was delighted to facilitate a visit to Ireland from her parish and choir in 2018 when they sang in Christ Church Cathedral and St Finbarre’s Cathedral Cork. DUFEM sends teachers to Hong Kong to work on a summer English programme in her parish which is mainly focussed on recent immigrants from mainland China,” he explained.

“If we could offer a lectern to the church as part of the refurbishment programme it would be a tangible way of expressing our solidarity with the work of this rapidly developing parish. An Irish eagle could find new wings,” Dr Houston added.

Any parish with a lectern that they could offer to help St Philip’s should contact Dr Houston at kerry.houston@dit.ie. It is envisaged that DUFEM will coordinate and cover the cost of shipping the lectern to Hong Kong.