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A 'dream come true'

05 April 2013

HE CHAIRS the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, and he was visiting Dublin and the dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough. After hearing Trinity College Choir sing at morning prayer, Elder Fu Xianwei (centre) said that it was "like a dream come true, because the choir brought me to heaven: it was just like listening to angels' voices".

He was accompanied by the Revd Peter Koon, Provincial Secretary General of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican province of Hong Kong. The two Chinese churchmen attended the patronal eucharist in St Patrick's Cathedral, on St Patrick's Day; and, later in the day, at a second service where 14 Dublin churches were represented, Elder Fu gave an address bringing the greetings of 25 million Christians in China.

It is a Church that has grown significantly in the past few decades, and has especially attracted young people. He expressed the hope that Dublin and China could collaborate in the future - not just through sacred music, but with students. He said that he had been deeply moved by the trip, because he had seen a very different part of the world.

Elder Fu is used to foreign travel. Born in 1944, he was educated in a theological seminary, but worked in a shipyard, and in schools in Shanghai, before joining the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches. He has been chairman since 2008.

He said that he had visited many countries, and had taken part in international conferences, but that this was his first visit to Ireland. The visit had been sponsored by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, and the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission, which was founded in 1895 and has been rejuvenated in recent years.

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