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A Church Without Walls


By Joel Lian

On 24 January this year, Chapel of the Resurrection (COR) received its new Vicar. In practice, he had already begun his work some nine months earlier on. But on that Sunday morning, in a service redolent of the Church’s continuity and tradition, the Right Reverend Kuan Kim Seng was formally instituted and inducted into the cure of souls in this parish.

It began with the procession of the lay readers, church wardens, clergy, Archdeacons and the Bishop of Singapore into the Sanctuary, all led by the Cross of Jesus Christ. After the opening songs, Bishop Rennis preached from Zechariah 2 and called the church to build a city without walls. Such a city would have no boundaries, one where the glory of God would be a wall of re around it, and where the divine presence would ow out freely and draw many in. Pointing to church planting as being part of COR’s DNA, Bishop Rennis credited the work of Canon James Wong, Canon John Benson and Canon Daniel Tong for building up the parish in their distinctive ways. Bishop Kuan’s appointment, he said, came at a time when he believed that God was calling COR to a new missionary gear. The Bishop challenged the church to rise up and follow God in building a church without walls, and it was heartening to see many in the congregation standing in response to his call.

After the sermon, the church wardens presented Bishop Kuan to the Bishop. When Bishop Kuan had made the Declaration of Assent and the Oath of Canonical Obedience, Bishop Rennis read out the Deed of Institution, telling Bishop Kuan to “receive this cure of souls, which is both mine and thine”. The procession then made its way to the Sanctuary’s doors, where the Archdeacon of Singapore, Bishop Low Jee King, inducted Bishop Kuan as Vicar of COR. Bishop Kuan then rang a bell (specially installed for the service) to signify his acceptance of the responsibility of leading the parish.

With the formal institution and induction done, the procession moved to the baptismal font, the pulpit, and the Lord’s Table. At each point, the Vicar and the congregation were reminded of their respective duties as Christian people and to promise to fulfill these duties. Bishop Rennis then led Bishop Kuan to his seat, and having placed him in it, prayed that God would grant Bishop Kuan the grace to perform his duties and that every member of the church would serve God worthily in their vocation and ministry. The Parochial Church Council and church staff were also invited on stage to pray for Bishop Kuan and Canon John Benson was among those who prayed for him.

As Bishop Kuan takes on his new mantle, it is our hope and prayer that COR will continue to follow and serve God faithfully in building a church without walls.


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