I recently went to the AGM of Cultural Exchange with China, a charity whose purpose is ‘building bridges between the Catholic Churches of Britain and China’.
I know Fr Eamonn O’Brien, the Director, who is a Columban father; and over the last few years I’ve met various Chinese Catholics in London who have been sponsored by the charity – lay catechists, for example, who have been in formation at the St Patrick’s Evangelisation School; and a diocesan priest who lived at the seminary where I work for three years while he studied at Heythrop and St Mary’s.
Take a look a their website, which includes this page of links to monthly reports about developments within the Catholic Church in China, and this article about the growth of contemplative communities in China over recent years.
It’s a charity that is well worth supporting. You can donate here, or become a member and supporter here. Of course, with my name and family background, I can’t say I am just a neutral observer when it comes to issues about the Church and China.
Here are the official goals of the charity:
Our principal goal is to build bridges between the Catholic Church of Britain and that of China. Our specific contribution is the training of personnel for the Church of China.
We see the strengthening of formation for priests, sisters and laity as the key ingredient to assist the Church of China to take up the great challenge of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and face the great challenges of modern Chinese society.
We also seek to promote understanding, co-operation and mutually beneficial friendships between the people of Britain and China, based on respect for one another, and in an ecumenical, interfaith and global context.