An Ordinand Abroad: Hong Kong exchange
Westcott’s relationship with the Hong Kong Anglican community has never been stronger, and it is as a symbol of that relationship that Rachel, one of our Ordinands, has joined the community at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong for the coming term.
On my first night, I was greeted by all of the postulants and their families – a really warm welcome. That first evening was a real embodiment of fellowship; they cooked for me, and we spent an evening laughing and talking, sharing delicious food, playing hymns and worship songs.
The next day I experienced my first teaching of the visit, a Formation class, followed by lunch with the Vice Principal. It was exhilarating to jump straight into the life of the College, right after a long flight!
My arrival coincided with the Mid Autumn festival, a centuries old festival that some believe comes from moon worshipping in ancient China. It is a time to be with family and friends - and to eat mooncake and make lanterns. I watched a children’s orchestra play traditional Chinese music on equally traditional instruments, before a 67 meter long dragon made of incense sticks processed past me, sending embers and smoke everywhere. It gave me pause to consider the role of ritual both in traditional culture, and in Christian worship. There isn’t anything quite like this spectacle in the UK, and it was exciting to see how it drew people together.
This extraordinary city feels in some ways far removed from Cambridge, but the warmth of the fellowship of our fellow ordinands is a constant. I am excited to be discovering more about Hong Kong’s diverse culture, and the role Anglicanism plays in the daily lives of its inhabitants.