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9 May 2010

Attend church in Chinese at St Martins-in-the-Fields

St Martin-in-the-Fields has been home to an active Chinese-speaking congregation for more than forty years, and they still hold two regular Sunday services. Whilst your author doesn't speak Chinese and isn't a believer, it is certainly an interesting demonstration of the rich diversity of our city.

The area began its association with the Chinese community in the 1950s, when a significant number of people emigrated from Hong Kong to Britain. Many people settled in London, especially in the area of Gerrard Street and Wardour Street.

We are told that Bishop Hall of Hong Kong, on a visit to London, passed through Chinatown, and saw that many Chinese people in London had nowhere to worship, so he sent a representative to London to take care of overseas Chinese in Chinatown, and a pastor was eventually ordained at St Martins-in-the-Fields. On 18th September 1964 the services began in Cantonese.

On Sundays, a Mandarin service is held at 1.15pm and a Cantonese service at 2.15pm, and the Associate Vicar for the Chinese congregation is Revd Paul Lau. For more, see here or get a good translator and have a look at http://www.smitfcc.org.uk/

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