We arrived in Hong Kong in February 1985. It was a huge change for a young, recently married couple from the UK. We had already heard about St Andrew’s from friends in London, where it had a reputation as an evangelical Anglican Church. We really appreciated the Church sending out some people to our temporary quarters to welcome us and see how they could help us settle in. With a certain youthful John Menear as Vicar, we very quickly became involved in a close and welcoming Christian community – attending Growth Group, Keswick Convention in March, and a retreat in Cheng Chau in April.
Thirty-seven years have passed since then. We had intervals when we attended churches on Hong Kong Island, but never lost the connection with St Andrew’s friends. Despite attending another church at the time,
St Andrew’s women’s prayer team prayed for and visited me when I had our first child at the nearby British Military Hospital in October 1985. Nevertheless, we have always returned to St Andrew’s and have attended without interruption since 2003. We have seen John Aldis and Paul Kenchington as Vicars before John Menear’s return in 2006. Throughout our time here, we have found this Church to be the centre of a strong and active Christian community, never standing still or complacent, with a network of Growth Groups through which people can become involved in Church life.
We have seen a Church that has changed with Hong Kong, from a predominantly expatriate Church in the 80s representing Hong Kong’s colonial status to one attended by people from all of Hong Kong’s
various communities which more fully represents Hong Kong’s true Christian life.
I have fond memories of some of the projects carried out while I was a member of the Mission Committee, which included buying a herd of sheep for villagers in Yunnan and later building a school named the St Andrew’s school there. Also, of mission work done on the Thai Burmese border and the Philippines.
The biggest project seen to completion is, of course, the new underground extension which presented huge financial and engineering challenges. Yet, today by the grace of God, we meet there every Sunday.
In respect of family, all three of our children were born here and all at some time attended the Church and engaged in various activities. Our daughter Deborah accompanied Youth mission trips to the hill country of Thailand and South Africa, whereas our youngest son Jonathan has interesting stories of Youth mission trips to China led by Darren Pollock
We leave next week with heavy hearts for the city. The last few years have been dominated by the pandemic, which has curtailed in-person worship and fellowship. We, like many, have not been able to travel and see our families. We thank God that he has protected us through these times, and the Church has always found a way to bring God’s word to his people here.