Welcome Churches are taking part in an initiative to help welcome those people from Hong Kong who are planning to move to the UK in 2021.
Welcome Churches are taking part in an initiative to help welcome those people from Hong Kong who are planning to move to the UK in 2021. The UK Government has opened a new route from 31st January for people in Hong Kong with a British National Overseas (BNO) passport to come to the UK. You can read more about this on the BBC news article here. The UKHK churches initiative is being led by Dr Krish Kandiah and is a collaboration of different organisations looking to equip the UK Church to be ‘Hong Kong Ready’. We are delighted to be working in partnership with other organisations who are real experts in Hong Kong culture, to unite the UK Church to provide a good welcome to those arriving from Hong Kong.
Welcome Churches are giving our skills and experience in training churches to provide a good ‘Welcome’ and in profiling refugee-welcoming churches on our online Welcome Network. We are helping to create a similar network of churches who are Hong Kong ready – committed to welcoming Hong Kongers arriving in their local community. That way we can connect Hong Kongers with people from their local church when they first arrive, to make sure that they are welcomed. People arriving from Hong Kong will be able to visit ukhk.org/church where they can easily see churches near them to welcome them. They may be people specifically looking for a church to belong to, or they may just be looking to make new friends.
Whilst we recognise that those who are arriving in the UK from Hong Kong aren’t coming as refugees, we know that it is still important that they receive a good welcome when they arrive. And what better place to get that welcome than from the local church! It is our hope and prayer that by doing a good job of welcoming people arriving from Hong Kong this could then help shape the wider immigration narrative in the UK – particularly the conversation about how we treat asylum seekers in this country.
A good welcome doesn’t happen accidentally. We can’t just sit and wait for people to walk through our church doors to say hello to them. This is even more true since the Covid-19 pandemic, when we’re not going to naturally ‘bump’ into someone in our everyday lives! A good welcome is intentional and proactive. You need to want to welcome someone to be a part of your community. People feel most welcomed when you go out of your way for them and when you choose to get in touch with them, rather than waiting for them to call you for help.
We are equipping churches to be ‘Hong Kong Ready’, by training churches to give a good welcome. The training is being developed by the Welcome Churches team, and other experts in Hong Kong culture who are also giving their time to this project. Through receiving our training, you will learn to work cross-culturally, learn more about the culture and values of people arriving in the UK from Hong Kong and how you can give a good Welcome to those coming to your community. You will be able to access our training online, once your church has signed up to the UKHK Church Network.
It is so important that we get this right. And the way to get it right is to take part, not waiting for someone else to do it. Sign up your church and we will send you all the information you need.