Re-elected Hong Kong primate tells Anglicans to ‘do it yourself’

By ACNS staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Paul Kwong, who was recently re-elected for a second six-year term as primate, has called Anglicans in Hong Kong to “do-it-yourself,”* to fulfill their own ministries rather than rely on external assistance.

The church’s Echo Magazine revealed that, in a speech following his re-election, the primate said he “deplored” the reliance on non-Anglican staff to perform ministerial work. This, he suggested, contravened the Anglican tradition of passing on faith from one generation to another.

“Those who come to the Anglican Church expect to be nurtured in the Anglican way by Anglicans,” Kwong said. “‘Nurturing’ not only is the duty of priests, but also that of every layperson. The church is your family and you must assume your responsibility as a family member.”

He warned that the outsourcing of ministerial work “squanders God’s gifts of abilities to His followers. Take the delegates present here today as an example, you have been called on by God to perform His duties.”

He stressed that the office of archbishop was not the undertaking of a single person, but one where the responsibilities are shared by the entire province. He therefore called on the brothers and sisters of the province to work in unity to advance the ministries of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.

Kwong went on to say that, on the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the province, it was time to review its structure and “contemplate positive adjustments to meet the demands of the time.”

Proposed adjustments included increasing the representation in the General Synod to involve more people in the long-term strategic planning of the province.

Kwong remarked that, “Other than physical infrastructure, the most important asset of the church is human talents. That’s why HKSKH Ming Hua Theological College has been improving the quality of theological education for seminarians while developing programs of theological studies to nurture the laity.

“The House of Prayer now serves as a place of retreat for church members. A Sheng Kung Hui Monastery is also in the planning – it will be the home for monks and nuns to respond to the calling of God through prayer and devotion, who in turn will lead members of the church in meditation to achieve spiritual fulfillment”.

Kwong was re-elected to another term after a majority of votes from the three houses of the Electoral College. He and Bishop Andrew Chan had been candidates for the election. Bishop Louis Tsui withdrew from his candidacy due to his pending retirement.

[*’Do-it-yourself’ or ‘DIY’ is a term used in several countries that refers to people doing their own decorating or home repairs rather than employing someone else]