More than 700 Anglicans gathered in St John's Cathedral, Hong Kong, last Saturday afternoon to give thanks to God for the peaceful reunification of the former Crown colony of China. They offered prayers for strength and courage to follow Christ into the uncharted waters of the future.
The Bishop of Hong Kong & Macao, the Rt Revd Peter Kwong Kong-Kit, spoke of a "calm feeling in the community" in Hong Kong, which remained the home of " an inter-national family". Hong Kong under the British had became a great metropolis, he said. It had been benefited for excellent economic and political structures, and had served as a refuge for "our mainland brothers and sisters" during the Second World War and the liberation of China.
"We thank God for the continuity in our lifestyle; but throughout that period, the right of citizenship was denied to Hong Kong people."
He stressed the need for continuing international involvement in Hong Kong: "Our brothers and sisters from the rest of the world will share with us in developing our work here."
And he spoke of influencing the rest of China. The "one-country- two-systems" formula will be in force for only 50 years. "What we learn and retain in our freedom, we must be willing to carry with us to benefit China as a whole. We must carry God's cross.... so that God's truth can be brought to China.