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                 Cultural Exchange with China (CEC)     

CEC Final AGM 2019





AGM 2018

Annual Report '17 - '18

AGM 2018 Picture Gallery

AGM Flier 2018

AGM 2017

Annual Report 2017

AGM Flier2017

Pictures of AGM 2017






Fr Eamonn, Jim Simmons, Caroline Fielder, Archbishop Bernard Longley, Trish Sandbach, Margaret Lightbound, Matthew Sanderson & Rachel Winton







Fr Joseph Liang & Godfrey Stone







Dot Stone & Matthew Sanderson







Margaret Ozanne, Laura & Robert Walsh






Margaret Lightbound & Ruth Waddington





Archbishop Bernard Longley & Fr Eamonn






Margaret Siberry & Qifeng Wu






John & Hannah Chegwyn






Cirhuza Guy & colleague






Jackie Coleman & Kathleen Venting






Fr Joseph Liang & Trish Sandbach






Leonilda Alfonso & Amy Tang






David & Rachel Winton






Archbishop Bernard Longley






Archbishop Bernard Longley &

Fr Joseph Liang






Archbishop Bernard Longley address

'sharing and reflecting on his visit to China'






participants of AGM












small group sharing at AGM











small group sharing at AGM











Canon Gerry Breen, Fr Eamonn, Fr Bernard Kelly & Amy Tang











Canon Gerry Breen, Cathedral Administrator & Fr Joseph Liang, Westminster Ardiocese Chaplain to Chinese community








AGM 2016

AGM 2016


FAITH IN CHINA,   was the theme of  the 15th AGM of CEC.  Issues explored were: Do we believe what the media tells us about China?  Peoples' lived experience of  China and the UK  by those who visited and Chinese students now studying in the UK; Faith possibilties in China; exploring the state context of  Faith in China.







Bishop Thomas McMahon, Bishop emeritus of Brentwood Diocese, Fr Eamonn O'Brien, Director CEC and Jim Simmons, Chair of the Executive.  Bishop McMahon highlighted the recent interview by Pope Francis on China.  See his presentation below. 

Xinan Li, ((left) PhD candidate at Loughborough University;  Fr Joseph Liang,  (Centre) Chaplain from China  on loan to Westminster Archdiocese for the Chinese community,  and Teng Li,  PhD candidate at Liverpool University, researching "The Holy Spirit, Reform and Salvation History in 12 Century  thought of Rupert of Deutz and Anselm of Havelburgh.


Bin Jiang, (left) postgraduate student of International Relations at Durham University with Li Xinan. When asked about introducing Catholic beliefs to people in China, he had this to say:  "that they had to consider this in the context of modern China. First most Chinese people were raised as atheists so they usually had an instinctive opposition towards religious preaching. Another thing was that most people developed serious trust issues after the holocaust in the 1970s. And with the scandals of the pyramid scheme in recent years, a lot of people are especially careful with anything related to unknown organisations. So it is better to get people's interests with cultural influences such as music or architecture first, especially with younger generation who are more open to cultural diversity."



Teng Li viewing the display at the AGM and had this to say as part of his presentation - Experience of being part of the Church  in China and here - support, difficulties, challenges, etc . 

“Chinese authorities are believed to be becoming progressively more suspicious of the influence of Christianity, which is experiencing significant growth in the country. Under such a stressful environment, the Catholics in China are still practicing their faith in God and they are loyal to the Universal Catholic Church and to our Pope. Contemporary China has many similarities with the sufferings of the Catholic Church in this land during the last centuries. This is possibly also a deeper meaning of the cultural exchange with China.”

Kerry Jackson, Director of the St Gemma Hospice in Leeds, visited China with a CEC group in 2015,  She described her experience of palliative care centres in China including  St Augustine Gardens retirement home.  She said as part of her input:

Provision of high quality palliative and end of life care is a worldwide challenge; in many countries including China lack of access to opioids to effectively manage pain is a major issue.

Provision of care is a particular challenge in China with a rapidly ageing population and societal changes together with underdeveloped palliative and end of life care services.

However, we have much to learn from the palliative care services that do exist in China, particularly around the importance of family involvement in the povision of care for people as they approach the end of their lives.




Xinan Li, currentlly reseraching "Chinese migrant workers and students in the UK and their Faith experience"

He addressed the topic of "Chinese Migrant workers and students in the UK and their faith experience":  He suggested:

"CEC has done an excellent job building bridges between the Church in the UK and China.

As the Chinese immigrant community in the UK is one of the fastest growing ethnic minority communities in the UK, I think the CEC could also try to reach out to this community. Since they are also part of CEC's vision.

As Evangelicalism is the fastest growing religion among the Chinese world-wide, I think CEC could also build bridges between the Church and the Chinese adhering to non-Catholic Christian traditions, to extend the mutual understanding. "


Trish Sandbach, (centre)  Secretary to CEC Executive, who prepared the opening prayers and reflection for the Conference.


Jim Simmons,  (Left) Chair of CEC Executive chatting with Andrew Thompson made this comment about our day conference:   "The CEC AGM this year seemed so much more alive!  I think one of the reasons for this was the participation of some young Chinese people who are studying in the UK at  the moment.  It was really interesting to hear their understanding of both the Church in  China and in the UK"

He invited participants and readers of this blog who would wish to offer their services as an Executive member to contact us.





Alicia Markiewicz (right) enjoying a cup of tea during the break with Alison Williams who has been an English teacher in China.

David & Rachel Winton (left) with Margaret Sibberry (right) .   David and Rachel have taught English in China for a number of years and  coordinate  the CEC programme for Teachers  to  China.   Over the past 20 years 44 teachers from UK have taught English in Chinese Universities, some for as many as four years.    Further information on this programme from  or Click  Teaching in China on this website for further details, requirements and applications.





Catherina Chen,(front) from Beijing and a postgraduate student in economics at LSE.




Dr Helen Murphy (left) who travelled to China with CEC last year.  She expressed the hope that she could return to China to offer her services as a doctor in St Augustine Gardens retirement home.

Kerry Jackson (right)

Fr Eamonn O'Brien, Director, CEC made a presentation on the relationship between the State and Religion in China through history, focusing on the period from 1950.   He reviewed the proceedings  of the National Congress on Religion, which took place in Beijing, April 22 and 23. "The State has always been involved in religious affairs throughout Chinese History.  This is not a new phenomenon of the last fifty years", he said.  But President Xi Jinping  signalled  a new stance on religion by the party via a subtle change   of words.  Xi indicated that the Party needs to 'recognise each religion's specific  characteristics'. .  Fr O'Brien expressed the hope that the old 'chestnut'   whether you obey your religion and then the Party or vice versa  could become obsolete.  Law is a work in progress for the whole Chinese state, and a draft Law on religion has been prepared by a private reserach  Insitute. 

A short time after this National Conference, there was a delegation from the Vatican in Beijing  for a second meeting this year with Chinese Government  officials.   Two  such meetings were also held in 2015.  Pope Francis has made it clear that a rapprochement with China is a key priority for his time in office.   While there are restrictions, there  are possibilities and  a vibrancy about the Catholic Church in China that rarely gets media attention here in the UK, where negative news seems to be the order of the day.


Margaret Siberry, Leeds, and former Sec to CEC Executive, chat with two of our speakers.  Margaret shared on why she had joined CEC in 2002 and had this to say about the AGM.  "  I was  really encouraged by the buzz, energy and enthusiasm that permeated the day.  People seemed genuinely interested in learning more about faith in China, its historical traditions and deep spiritual heritage as well as the complexities of practising faith now.  The contribution of three post graduate Chinese students and Chaplain, Fr Joseph Liang, all speaking from their experience, was particularly illuminating.   For me the conference was a welcome opportunity to learn, discuss and appreciate the complexity but great hope  for people of faith in China and, more importantly, how we can build bridges with people of faith in our own country."



Fausta, former treasurer of CEC,  speaking on behlaf of the current treasurer  who was unable to be at the AGM, presnted the accounts for 2015.     CEC had an income of £233,055  and expendite of  £221,229, with a CBF of  £11,826 , of which £8,412 was a liabiity.   


She especially thanked all the donors to CEC without whom we would not be able to offer services.


Our audited accounts  for 2015 will appear on the Charity Commission Website  shortly.







Group discussion  led by Teng Li

Group discussion, including from left,  Anne Forbes, Leeds, David Winton,   Redwood Fryxell, Faustina Cofie, and Helen Murphy.

'Cultural Exchange with China' AGM lived up to its name.  Particularly interesting were the analyses of the contemporay Church situation, the accounts of visits by people from UK and Ireland, and especially the contributions by Chinese Christians, mainly graduate students, currentlty livingin the UK.  A real exchange!

Jim Simmons, (left)  Chair of CEC Executive and Rachel Winton  (3rd left) Vice Chair of Executive in discussion led by Kerry Jackson. Rachel had this to say: " It was very good to meet with  others with a common purpose and especially invigorating to hear young Chinese voices.  It was fascinating to compare palliative care in the UK and in China, and the subsequent workshop produced a stimulating discussion."






Bin Jiang and Xinan Li lead a discussion.

Participants enjoying the meeting.




Amy Tang, CEC's financial adminstrator.




Regina Ng ( right) part time adminstrator to CEC with  Kathleen Venting, one of our volunteers. Without our volunteers we could not funtion as well as we do.  Other volunteers not present at the meeting are: Elise Peter, Marie Ryde, Ida Lobo, Sr Teresa Tan,  Agnes  Gallen;  Leonilda Alphonso, Gabrielle Scott, Bridge Vama, Lucy,  Patricia  Aruofor,  Frances Lo, Bibi.   



Nuala McFlynn, a volunteer worker, gave her services for food and coffee at the Conference.






Sr Alphonsus with other volunteers from Left:   Peggy Attlee, Ida Lobo,  Patricia  Arufour and her son.





From Left:  Sr Imelda, Sr Anthony and Sr Alphonsus of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have been a tremendous support to our CEC office.




Members of the CEC executive, with Volunteers  and speakers  celebrate with pub food after the AGM.


AGM Anaual Report 15-16 and the Account 15' and AGM Flyer 16' below.



AGM 2015

Annual General Meeting 2015


May 23rd

10.30am to 4.00pm

At St Aloysius Church, 20 Phoenix Rd, NW1 1TA, (very near Euston station)

Topics:     China and Climate Change;    Transcending the 'Made in China Tag' 


To ensure  a place or get further information:

contact CEC:  

tel 020 8202 2555; fax 020 8202 5775;


AGM 2014 Picture Gallery

AGM 2014: venue, date and Place

Annual Report '13-'14 and Account '13 will appear here in May 14.

Amnual Report '12-'13 and accounts '12

AGM Gallery 2013

Annual report '11-'12 and Account '12

PAST AGM Gallery

Past Annual Reports and Accounts will be posted here

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