R O Hall's Account of the Priesting of John Chou and Tsai Yung Chun, 28th October, 1944, Wenlin Tang, Kunming

Compiled by Michael Poon (ÅËÄËÕÑÕûÀí£©

Sheng Kung Hui Documents Ê¥¹«»áµµ°¸ÍøÒ³

Now I had better go back to the ORDINATION SERVICE. A special quality about this Ordination Service was that it began with a marriage service which I took here last Easter for two Hongkong refugees, Martin Chen, an old boy of the Diocesan School, and Joyce Kwok, of the Diocesan Girls' School. Martin is now assistant treasurer of the vestry. He is an engineer with a small engineering plant here. I was told when I arrived that someone had given a new cross, which we badly needed, for St. John's Church, and a curtain to hang at the back of the altar. Martin and his wife had chosen some deep plum-coloured silk, and the cross he had made himself in his factory. These were used for the first time at the Ordination Service. The combination of the love behind them and their simple beauty gave a new centre to our worship on the Saturday night. Then during the week, John Chou (Chou Meng-chiu), the pastor of St. John's Church, and Tsai Yung-chun, the chaplain of the hospital, and I had two full days on the lovely hills overlooking- the lake. We sat among the trees with the amazing blue of the lake'at our feet, Kunming nearly six miles away across it, a cool wind and wonderful sunshine. We had Matins together first, and then each of them in turn had the whole morning with me from 9 to 12. The afternoon we spent together. In the evening I went back to Miss Tindall's cottage. They were wonderful days; I learned so much from each of the men as they told me about their youth and how they had come to Christ, and the battles they had fought for Him. John Chou told me how much Mr. Jenkins had meant to him at the U.T.C. This was all the more generous, as at one point Mr. Jenkins refused to have him back to the college.

(At the thirtieth anniversary of the U-T.C. last year, Dr. Kunkle, the President,-said to the whole company that everyone would agree with him, when he came to speak of the staff during these thirty years, there was only one name they would all want to mention as the outstanding influence in the college, and that was Percy Jenkins.)

Now I had better go back to the Saturday night which, you remember, was my twelfth birthday. I was very vividly conscious of Our Lord's visit to Jerusalem and the sense of responsibility in the words, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" A Bishop's job is responsible enough, but one's twelfth birthday in it gives a still more serious reminder of what God expect;,' at us when we have had the opportunity of twelve years' experience¡ªhowever little we may have made of it.

You will probably be familiar now with our habit of having ordination services in the evening, and on Saints' days rather than on a Sunday. The reason for the evening is that church members can come then: the reason for the Saints' days in the week is that other clergy, particularly of our own churches, can come without neglecting their own congregations.

I expect you have taken in about JOHN CHOU. This was his priesting. He has been in charge of St. John's Church, Kunming, for over a year, so it was a very happy time for us all. He was thirty-four on October 10 and is therefore a twin brother to Gilbert Baker, who presented him. He is a Cantonese who manages to speak Mandarin to the satisfaction of the Mandarin-speaking people more successfully than most Cantonese. He is tall and slender, and remarkably neat and careful in all his work and actions. He has quite a reputation as a preacher, even with people who are university graduates. Best of all, he knows the order of a pastor's life: (1) the pastor's knees, (2) the pastor's feet, (3) the pastor's heart, (4) the pastor's voice. He has found that between 8 and 10 in the morning is one of the best times for visiting, and makes good use of it.

The other ordinand was TSAI YUNG-CHUN. I have already written of him and, thanks to the generosity of the C.M.S., the help of the Central Clergy Fund and the generous co-operation of the hospital, he has now been chaplain of the grand old hospital in Kunming for the last year. He has, as you will remember, been wrestling with T.B., and he accepted the chaplaincy as part of the spiritual wrestling with this disease. He has always been a member of the Church of Christ and was brought up in that Church. Moreover, his brother-in-law, T. K. Chiu, is pastor of the Church of Christ here in Kunming. (T. K. Chiu is a cousin of Ban-It Chiu,* now at Westcott House, whom you are helping to prepare for service in our Diocese.) We therefore asked T. K. to preach the Ordination Sermon. Incidentally, there was, as in the case when David Paton was ordained and Dr. Reichelt preached, no Anglican priest who could preach adequately to the occasion. In addition, we asked the Church of Christ to allow another of its ministers to share with T. K. Chiu and the rest of us in the laying- on of hands. We did this in the case of David Paton also, because of his father's links with all denominations. In Tsai Yung-chun's case it was that we knew how much he owed spiritually to the Church of Christ in China. We did not want them to feel that we had stolen someone from them, but that he was finding- in the ministry of our Church a fulfilment of all that he had learned from them. We wanted them also to feel, as he did, that his ordination would be a bond between us, and not a cause of bitterness or jealousy. But we made it very clear indeed to the Church of Christ that this was not a "joint-ordination." We do not believe that there is such a thing as joint-ordination¡ªthere is only ordination, and I must confess to being rather rigidly Anglican at this point. At the Oxford Conference they said that "the Church must be the Church." I say the Anglican Church must be Anglican, the Methodist Church Methodist, the Congregationalists Congregationalist, and the Presbyterians Presbyterian. Do not let us get into a muddle. We each have our heritage, which is very dear. Let us be as Anglican as God gives us to be, devoted to our liturgy, our order, our discipline; BUT let us co-operate to the hilt with others¡ªas the fingers on a hand are distinct, separate and each one different but without the co-operation of the fingers the hand is helpless. I wish you could all have been at the Ordination Service. You would then have seen how this ideal was in fact realized. I do believe intensely that God has allowed the Church to be divided in order to reach the whole world and every layer of human life. Contrary to public opinion, I believe that our divisions have as a matter of fact helped the cause of missions.

Delay in travel plans kept me here another Sunday, so I saw the church as it is when the Bishop is not' expected. It was Communion Sunday with John Chou celebrating and Tsai Yung-chun preaching, and again it was a lovely service, reverent, and the church pretty well filled, with much the larger proportion (well over three-quarters of the congregation) young men. It was a lovely symbol and realization of what their priesting means.

*Note: Mr. Ban-It Chin hopes to be ordained by Bishop Barnes at the end of the Trinity term, and to take up a curacy at Bournville Parish Church.¡ªOutpost Ed.

[Outpost (January-April 1945): 2-4]