Bishop flies 6,000 miles to take Archbishop's place at major church celebration
PUBLISHED: 15:25 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 09 October 2018
The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, travelled to Hong Kong on behalf of the Most Rev Justin Welby, who as the Archbishop of Canterbury is the Primate of All England and the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Bishop Martin took part in the Thanksgiving Eucharist marking the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of the Anglican Province of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.
The Celebration Service was attended by more than 3,000 people including guests from across China and East Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, followed by a banquet for 2,300 people.
Bishop Martin said it was an immense privilege to be part of the celebrations and honoured with such a prominent place in the proceedings, presenting greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop Martin said: ‘‘This was an important milestone for the Anglican Church in Hong Kong and I am delighted to have taken part, sharing in the celebrations with Christian brothers and sisters.
“I know Hong Kong and several of the Anglican communities there, so I was especially glad to be celebrating with good friends.
‘‘The Archbishop of Canterbury was invited to attend the celebrations and I was honoured to participate on his behalf in what was an uplifting and joyous celebration.
‘‘Although the Province – a group of dioceses working together - is 20 years old, the history of the Anglican Church in Hong Kong and Macau dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and the Church has therefore had a presence there for more than 150 years.
‘‘Celebrations have gathered pace in recent months and in May there was an event at the AsiaWorld-Expo, attended by 8,000 people including teachers, social workers, priests and parishioners.
‘‘This was a celebration of the evangelism, education and social service ministries of the Church there and shows how much interest and support there is for the Anglican Church in this extremely diverse, multi-faith and international city.’’