Hong Kong bishop consecrated

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The consecration service of the Rt Revd Matthias Der, former Dean of St John’s Cathedral, to the Holy Order of Bishop took place at 3:00pm on 3 October at St John’s Cathedral.

The Diocese of Hong Kong Island held an election for a new Bishop Coadjutor on 21 November 2019. After two rounds of votings, Bishop Coadjutor Der obtained two-thirds majority votes at both House of Clergy and House of Laity and was elected the Bishop Coadjutor-elect of the Diocese of Hong Kong Island.The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging around the world, although the situation has slowed in Hong Kong and that the Government has lifted the ban on religious gatherings with effect on 2 October, the Organizing Committee for the Consecration of Bishop has resolved that the service would remain unopen to the public. Parishioners and citizens could watch the service in real time via Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui’s website (http://www.hkskh.org), Diocese of Hong Kong Island website (http://dhk.hkskh.org/), and Echo’s Youtube Channel (https://bit.ly/33dvBpV).

The organizers has also appointed an infection control group and adopted strict pandemic prevention measures. The cathedral and all rooms used in the consecration service were thoroughly sanitized and the ventilation system was strengthened. Organizers also prepared personal protection items such as anti-septic alcohol hand-rubs, face shields, face masks, and protective suits. All Bishops, clerics, and attendees of the service must be seated at their assigned seats, which was arranged to maintain social distancing. All attendees must have their temperatures taken and keep their masks on throughout the service. Before they entered the premises, all attendees must also submit their completed health declaration forms to the staff so that should infections occur, the organizers can trace the contacts of the infected person.The Most Revd Paul Kwong, Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, presided over the consecration service. Bishop Coadjutor Matthias Der was presented to the Archbishop and signed a declaration that says he believes “the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary for salvation;” and that he “solemnly promise to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.”

Archbishop Kwong then examined the Bishop Coadjutor and the congregation prayed. After that, Archbishop Kwong and the Consecrating Bishops laid their hands upon the head of the Bishop Coadjutor Der to consecrate him. The newly consecrated Bishop Coadjutor then received the Bible, the Pectoral Cross, the Ring, the Mitre and the Crozier. Archbishop Kwong then declared “We declare that Matthias Clement Tze-Wo Der is bishop in the Church of God, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”Aside from the presider Archbishop Paul Kwong, the Consecrating Bishops include Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kwong, Bishop Andrew Chan, Bishop Timothy Kwok, Bishop Emeritus Thomas Soo, and Bishop Emeritus Louis Tsui.

Bishop Coadjutor Der was born and raised in Hong Kong and Taiwan and educated in the United States and Canada. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1990 in the Diocese of Toronto and to the Priesthood the following year. He was made an Honorary Canon of St James’ Cathedral, Toronto in 2007 and was appointed Dean of St John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong in 2012.Bishop Coadjutor Der is passionate about nurturing disciples, and making the Christian faith relevant to people’s lives and is actively sharing the gospel, doing pastoral work and guiding the outreach ministry in ways that are relevant to the society.