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Chinese Ministry

Brief history

Chinese presence in churches in the Diocese took on a visible and vital form in the 1970s. The Toronto Chinese Anglican fellowship was formed in 1969 by immigrants from Hong Kong. They formed St. John’s Chinese congregation in 1973, meeting at Church of the Redeemer.

In 1984 St. John’s planted All Saints to serve the suburbs. It moved from Scarborough to Markham in 1996. It also planted two other churches: St. Christopher’s in North York and Richmond Hill, and St. Elizabeth’s in Mississauga. Each has moved to take advantage of demographics, and St. John’s itself eventually settled in North York.

New immigrants are continually coming from China. While these churches were mainly Cantonese and Hong Kong in culture, they have responded to the challenge of the second and third generations, who are more comfortable speaking English. Each of the Chinese churches has some form of ministry in Cantonese, English and Mandarin, whether in translation during worship, early childhood education, separate services or practical help.

Working with Environics, the Congregational Development department has current data and projection for the next 20 years showing that, by and large, the four churches are placed in areas that can expect continuing growth and intensification for Chinese immigrants. Our churches are in the right places!

Recent developments

Mandarin-speakers are one of the largest immigrant groups in the GTA. As of 2006, those who speak Chinese as their mother tongue make up the second largest population group after native English speakers. One third of this group speaks Mandarin. (Source)

This is an incredible opportunity to share the gospel in word and deed. God has been raising up leadership, resources and passion for Mandarin-speaking ministry in the Diocese in many forms. Some ministries have grown from existing Chinese congregations, but English-speaking churches are also getting involved, often with the help of part-time ministers or students who speak Mandarin. At the moment there are a number of active Chinese ministries:

  • St. Paul, L’Amoreaux
  • St. George on Yonge
  • St. James Cathedral
  • St. Philip on-the-Hill
  • St. Thomas, Huron Street
  • St. Anne, Toronto
  • St. John the Baptist, Oak Ridges

These fresh expressions, partially funded by the Diocese and coordinated and resourced by the New Hope Advisory Board, are exploring ways to meet this opportunity for service and mission.

There is broadly multicultural ministry that also serves the Chinese population, often in some form of English conversation clubs or classes. Through the passion of some keenly interested people, there is also a current attempt to reach out to restaurant workers.

Early Chinese ministry in the Diocese has been spontaneous and experimental, and now we’re ready for more consolidation and coordination; the challenge is too great for any part of the Diocese to tackle on its own, and it shouldn’t be left to Chinese Anglicans alone. A first Chinese ministry consultation took place in 2014. Senior clergy, council members, staff and bishops, as well as leaders of historic Chinese churches, gathered to share their stories, visions and challenges. It was followed by a second consultation in 2015.

New Hope Advisory Board

The New Hope Advisory Board was established in 2013 by Diocesan Council. Its mission is to be recognized as the primary repository of knowledge and wisdom in advising, facilitating and supporting the development of Mandarin outreach and ministry in the Diocese. Its actions are guided by the mission of the Diocese to worship God, proclaim Jesus Christ and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, embody God’s reconciling love.

Roles & responsibilities

  1. Develop policies, protocols and other criteria for the formation of Mandarin fellowships under the auspices of New Hope Ministries.
  2. Provide templates and guidelines for preparing grant applications, and other material for parties involved in Mandarin Ministry and mission.
  3. Review, adjudicate and, as appropriate, recommend proposals for applications for funding from the New Hope funding pool.
  4. Review applications with submitting parishes and coordinate the revision of applications, where required.
  5. Make recommendations, both logistical and financial, to Synod Council concerning the appropriate disposition of funding applications.
  6. Arrange for orientation/training to parishes initiating Mandarin ministry and mission, as required.
  7. Maintain liaison with parishes as they move forward with approved initiatives, e.g. by coordinating and/or conducting periodic progress reviews.
  8. Communicate and provide ongoing awareness of the role and function of the New Hope Advisory Board to any party within the Diocese, as required.
  9. Continue to document, maintain records and update the growing body of knowledge being acquired about Mandarin Ministry and mission.

Chinese ministry resources

From the Diocese and York-Scarborough:

  • Demographic data and information for North York, Richmond Hill, Markham and Mississauga.
  • Book of Common Prayer from TEC 美國聖公會公禱書
  • 聖公會小學崇拜手冊(香港)
  • Alpha resources in Cantonese 啟發: Books, leaders’ guide and DVD
  • Marriage preparation course
  • Marriage course
  • Parenting teenagers
  • True and Living Word 永生長存的道 – A primer for preachers
  • 香港聖公會網站Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican Province of Hong Kong, have extensive resources for Chinese ministry, though in a different context. It has an on line bible and an interesting paper, The Echo, with both news and discussion. The website is as follows:
  • 宗教教育中心網站The Province HKSKH also operates a publishing house with resources for Christian education, theology, bible study material etc. Its website is:

From St. Christopher’s

  • 主日關懷員及招待員工作指示
  • Lay Reader Training
  • Server Training
  • 崇拜讀經工作坊
  • Guideline of Choosing Hymns
  • Dramatic reading 戲劇形式演說
    a. 耶穌醫好生來瞎眼的人 – 約翰福音 9:1-41
    b. 拉撒路之死 – 約翰福音 11:1-45
    c. 耶穌受難 – 馬太福音 27:11-54
  • What is small group ministry?
  • 教會領袖 – 小組事工
  • 如何領查經?
  • How to lead an inductive Bible study
  • 2015 教會組織圖 Organizational Chart 2015
  • Book of Alternate Services (Canada) 加拿大聖公會公禱書替用本
  • Emmaus 以馬忤斯 Resources in Chinese

To access any of these resources, contact Sue Willoughby at

Diocese of Toronto Diocesan Confirmation St. James Cathedral
Mandarin ministries hosts Chinese visitors to Cathedral