Work vow from new archbishop

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2007, 12:00am

Paul Kwong, the new head of Anglicans in Hong Kong, pledged his church would work for the welfare of the people, as he was installed yesterday as the second Anglican archbishop in the city since the handover.

But the veteran cleric with strong pastoral credentials also sought to steer clear from politics, saying his church would not take part in the campaign for universal suffrage.

At a service in St John's Cathedral, where he was formally installed as primate and archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Archbishop Kwong said he hoped the day would mark the beginning of a renewal of faith.

Speaking after the service, which was attended by government officials, foreign dignitaries, leaders of other Christian denominations and other faiths, Archbishop Kwong said he would direct his church towards contributing to society's general welfare.

'As a church, we will not participate in political activities. But the church will look at the overall situation in society and contemplate in what way we can make our best contribution,' he said.

Saying society was becoming more relaxed as the economy improved, Archbishop Kwong said the worsening issue of poverty was a pressing issue the church and the government had to address.

He said Anglicans, who had always sided with the underprivileged, would continue to work to improve the community's livelihood.

In line with the church's practice of maintaining good relations with the government and Beijing, Archbishop Kwong visited the capital in May, where he was well received by officials, including those overseeing religious affairs.

Archbishop Kwong, 56, succeeds Peter Kwong Kong-kit who retired last year as the primate of the Anglican province, which has three dioceses in Hong Kong.