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Immigrants urged to be missioners

10 October 2014

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND

Catherine Nicol, a Church of Scotland missionary, with Dr Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the Church, at Hunter Memorial church, Sialkot 

Catherine Nicol, a Church of Scotland missionary, with Dr Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the Church, at Hunter Memorial church, S...

CHRISTIAN immigrants who come to Britain after benefiting from the work of missionaries have a responsibility to "carry on the mission" on arrival, the organiser of a service of thanksgiving for missionaries said last Friday.

The Revd Rana Youab Khan, Assistant Curate of St Anselm's, Belmont, in London diocese, who was born in Pakistan, organised an ecumenical service of thanksgiving for the work of missionaries at St Martin-in-the-Fields, central London, last month. It was attended by people from the UK, Pakistan, Norway, and the Netherlands.

Mr Khan said that Christians "who are the product and fruit of missionaries and ministries - like me, for example - have a responsibility to continue God's mission in this country. . .

"One of the main purposes [of the service] was to tell the wider community how difficult it was, 200 years ago, to go to other parts of the world and serve their communities," he said. "By and large," he went on, "most people in Pakistan regarded the heritage of mission in the country in a positive light.

Extremism and growing security concerns had led many people to leave, or to be advised to leave, Mr Kahn said. Nevertheless, some had stayed, including a Church of Scotland missionary, Catherine Nicol, who had spent most of her life in Pakistan. In 2012, she was awarded the Medal of the Great Leader by the President of Pakistan.

"Growing up in Pakistan," Mr Kahn said, "I used to see missionaries working in our town and villages and cities, and I was very much inspired at the highest level of dedication that they showed towards local people. Before I came to this country, this was in my mind: to do something to acknowledge their services, and to do something to help young people to imitate them."

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