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Bishop Nicholas joins Ming-Ai Association for Spring Festival

Bishop Nicholas joined the Spring Festival celebrations at the Ming-Ai Institute in north London on 12 March to bring in the Chinese New Year. 2015 has been designated the Year of the Sheep.

Also in attendance were Cllr Kaushika Khan, Mayor of the Borough of Haringey and delegates from the Chinese community. In his address, Bishop Nicholas reflected on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, tying this in with the Year of the Sheep which the people of China are celebrating this year.

After his speech, members of the Association outlined the ongoing projects being carried out by Ming-Ai, including a new collaboration with the Imperial War Museum about Chinese workers in the British Army during the Second World War and a new Masters’ Degree course on Chinese culture which is being supported by Middlesex University.

Following the speeches, a buffet of Chinese cuisine was made available to the attendees.

The Ming-Ai Association was founded in the UK in November 1992. It was the Catholic laity's response to the signs of the times, to act as a bridge between the UK, China and Hong Kong, and thereby to bring about educational, cultural, social and economic exchanges. The Association enjoys support from the Diocese of Westminster UK and Caritas Hong Kong.

In May 1992, Cardinal Hume invited Cardinal Wu of Hong Kong to provide manpower to assist the new Association. A member of staff from Caritas Hong Kong was seconded until 1998. The late Cardinal Hume, served as Honorary President until his death on 17 June 1999.  He was succeeded by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster until his retirement in 2008 when Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster took his place as Honorary President.

Every year they host celebrations for the Chinese New Year. Among the many guests are representatives of the Diocese of Westminster, the Chinese Embassy, local dignitaries, host families and a variety of other organisations. The programme usually consists of musical items, Tai Chi and Kung Fu demonstrations, Chinese name-giving and calligraphy, and the distribution of the lucky packets. These are followed by a buffet cooked in our training kitchen, which is always popular.

For photos of the evening, click HERE.