The first Anglican Church established in Cambodia was the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ Our Peace (CCOP) in 1993. It consisted of English and Khmer-speaking congregations. Rev Donald Cormack was its first Vicar and Rev Dr John Benson the first Dean of Cambodia.
In 1996, Rev Mok Wai Mung and his wife Mee Hwa began pioneering new Khmer-speaking outreaches and churches, mostly in the rural countryside. The Chinese-speaking Church of the Good Shepherd was started by the Rev Chai Lip Vui in 1999 to reach out to ethnic Chinese Cambodians in Phnom Penh.
In 2000, Deaconess Bessie Lee of St Andrew’s Cathedral initiated Project Khmer Hope (PKH), a training centre in Kampong Speu Province, to equip young Cambodians with skills in hospitality and provide healthcare to the rural community. In 2013, she launched another training centre in the remote Aoral district.
To date, the Anglican Church of Cambodia has grown into a communion of ten congregations, nine preaching points in Phnom Penh and five rural provinces, worshipping Jesus in Khmer, English and Chinese. The Church took a significant step towards forming a future Diocese of Cambodia in July 2007, when Rev Tit Hieng, a Cambodian convert and ordained clergyman, was appointed the Vicar of CCOP and Chairman of newly formed Anglican Church of Cambodia Provisional Council.
Anglican influence streamed into Indonesia with the conquest of Java by the British. In 1819, All Saints Church was established in Jakarta. It is the oldest English-speaking church in Indonesia and at one time was used as a base for the London Missionary Society’s mission to China. It then became a colonial chaplaincy and an international church in the last fifty years.
In 1993, Bishop Moses Tay established the Deanery of Indonesia with the objective of forming a Diocese of Indonesia in the future. Rev Canon Dr James Wong was appointed the first Dean of Indonesia. The Anglican work is formally registered with the Department of Religion under the name ‘Gereja Anglikan Indonesia’ (Anglican Church of Indonesia).
Since 1993, GAI has established 30 churches in 10 Provinces: North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Banten, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, West Java, East Java, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Maluku, and West Nusantara. There are 2 Foundations: GERHATI (Micro-financing) and Yayasan Pelita Anglikan Indonesia (Education). They operate 1 full school and 3 kindergartens.
Anglican presence was inducted into Laos in 1961 when Church of the Holy Spirit, Vientiane (CHS) came under the umbrella of the Diocese of Singapore and Malaya. During the time of conflict, church activities were halted until 1991.
Today CHS is a vibrant and growing congregation for the Protestant international community of Vientiane. The weekly congregation comprises adults and children. Tony Paton is the Pastor and the Church is involved in health, education and prisoner support initiatives. The Anglican Church is currently an unofficially recognised denomination in Laos.
In 1992, the Anglican Relief and Development Agency (ARDA) began in Vientiane. It is a private company with the Anglican Diocese of Singapore as its sole shareholder. ARDA is primarily an educational service provider.
There is also a Skills Development Centre in Northern Vientiane and a Hope Centre acting as refuge for street children in Vientiane. All the ARDA centres are progressing well but committed long-term staff is needed. Mr Jeff Jacquith and his wife not only coordinates the work for ARDA, but conducts Leadership Training Courses too.
The Anglican Church in Nepal was formed in 1999 when the Synod of the Diocese of Singapore voted to accept a group of independent churches to be part of the Diocese. Rev Norman Beale was appointed the first Dean of Nepal. He was tasked to establish the Anglican Church, and train pastors in evangelism and discipleship.
From December 2009 to December 2013, Mr. Chew Boon Ann continued the work under the leadership of Bishop Kuan Kim Seng and the Council of the Deanery of Nepal. In May 2014, Rev Lewis Lew took over the Deanship.
Rev Rinzi Lama and Rev Shyam Nepali were ordained as Deacons in 2010 and to the Priesthood in 2011. Today ACN has 2 clergy, 76 full-time pastors overseeing 48 churches with 9,000 worshippers in Kathmandu and across different parts of Nepal. Most members reside in the rural highlands. With more than 2,500 confirmed members and hundreds being baptised yearly, the current focus of ACN is on leadership development. Second and third generation leaders are being prepared for ordination and sent for training in theological schools respectively, while fourth generation leaders are being identified and challenged to join ministries.
The start of the Chaplaincy in 1864 is a signal of Anglican presence in Thailand. The Chaplaincy eventually became Christ Church Bangkok.
In 1991, the late Archdeacon Gerald Khoo and family was the Diocese of Singapore’s first missionary to Thailand. Through their work, a church of 130 members was established in Bangkok, with two others in Ban Chang and Sawang Daendin. In 2002, a new church germinated in Korat Province, while six other Karen and Lisu congregations sprouted in northern Thailand.
In 2010, the Diocese of Sabah anchored a church in Rangsit suburb. A faith venture to establish the future Cathedral of Thailand was initiated in Lat Krabang suburb.
A new Centre in Chiang Mai aiming to serve as a church and base for the mission development in Northern Thailand was established in 2013.
Each Church, Outreach and Social Concern ministry had a platform for unreached communities. Some examples are:
Rainbowland and St Andrew’s Child Development Centres (Bangkok, Ban Chang, Sawang Daendin and Chiangmai) – kindergarten ministry to reach middle and upper income families of the community;
Shalem House (Bangkok) – a temporary shelter for poor parents from the Provinces who bring their critically ill children or relatives for treatment in Chulalongkorn University Hospital;
Bethlehem House (Ban Chang) – a leadership development Centre to nurture neglected, unwanted children into God fearing leaders in society;
Cornerstone Student Centre (Lat Krabang) and Alpha Student Centre (Korat) – a meeting point to reach undergraduates and students through English Conversation Classes.
Deanery work in Vietnam became active in the 1990s under the leadership of Bishop Moses Tay. There are presently two missionary congregations, led by two indigenous clergymen.
In December 2009, the Church of Christ Our Hope started in Ho Chi Minh City. With a community of 50 people, they reach out to families, university students and are active in missions and community care.
In November 2008, Citylight church began in Hanoi. In August 2012, the church was renamed Church of The True Light when it came under the Deanery of Vietnam. It is a community of 80 people, with regular outreach to families and university students through community care and English classes respectively.
In August 2009, ABBA English Centre was set up by St Andrew’s Cathedral for the purpose of teaching English to Vietnamese youths. Every June/July, during the summer school holidays, about 30 Vietnamese students would attend the ABBA English Summer Camp in Singapore, with dual purposes of learning English and gaining exposure to a different culture. ABBA has been an effective platform in supporting church planting work in Hanoi, sharing a symbiotic relationship with the Church of The True Light.