Bringing together East and West

Mark Nam (Trinity 2020) and his wife, Kayi, designed a special stole to symbolise Mark’s ordination journey in the Church of England.

Mark and Kayi Nam

One of Trinity’s leavers, Mark Nam, was ordained deacon in Bristol Cathedral this autumn and is set to become one of the first British-born Chinese priests in the Church of England. To commemorate this, Mark wore a stole designed to represent the hope of true reconciliation through Jesus Christ, symbolized by bringing together ‘East’ 東 and ‘West’ 西. ‘The East and West motif reflects the realisation that God is calling me to embrace all aspects of myself, which include the colour of my skin and Chinese heritage,’ Mark says.

Mark’s father, Tony, had hoped to present this stole to Mark as a gift on the day of his ordination, but he sadly passed away just two days before Mark was licensed by the Bishop of Bristol in July. Mark decided to raise money for the stole through crowdfunding. The gifts from friends and family would represent all those who had supported his ordination journey.

‘Growing up in the UK, I suffered racial abuse and learnt to repress my identity to fit in,’ Mark says. ‘As I prepare for ordination, I sense that God is healing my past hurts and redeeming my experiences for the future. I hope that this stole will remind people that God’s love—spanning East to West—is for them, no matter what their culture or background is. Despite our differences, we are still one in Christ. Of course, this type of reconciliation requires sacrifice. That price has been met on the cross, but we are still required to seek repentance and to address the historical wrongs and abuses that are sadly still present in the church and society. Justice and reconciliation go hand in hand. My stole will convey this message wherever I go.’

 

 

Posted October 2020

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