Families and individuals who have settled in Leeds attended St Barnabas Church in Alwoodley, Leeds, despite freezing temperatures and high winds.
This was the first welcome event for people from Hong Kong held in the Diocese of Leeds since the announcement of the British National Overseas passport scheme to allow Hong Kong citizens to come and reside in the UK.
Chinese and English food was shared together, there were games for families, and the opportunity for newcomers to meet parishioners. Guest speakers also gave advice, including representatives from schools and GP surgeries.
The event was organised by Revd Dave Young, vicar of St Barnabas, (pictured), the only member of the clergy of Chinese-heritage in the diocese.
“The number of people who came exceeded our expectations – which was great,” he said.
“My father came to the UK from Hong Kong in the 1970s, so for me, it is wonderful to help welcome a new generation of Hong Kong migrants to the UK.
“Welcome and hospitality is such an important part of our faith and I hope that the Church can play an important role in helping new arrivals to settle down well in the UK.”
He said the Government estimates that this influx people from Hong Kong may be the biggest planned migration from outside the EU since the arrival of the Windrush generation from the Caribbean in the 1950s.
“It is important that we as a Church learn the lessons of Windrush and actively welcome new arrivals in our country, no matter where they come from,” he added.
- If you would like more information on welcoming new arrivals from Hong Kong in your church or community please visit the UKHK Website