Thailand is a popular travel destination in South East Asia because of her unique cultural heritage, which has remain preserved and intact. However, because of globalization, materialism and liberalism, serious moral and social issues, as well as political instability have been challenging the society’s cultural values.
History / Development of Anglican Presence / Church
The Anglican presence in Thailand began since 1864, with the planting of a chaplaincy ministry that subsequently grew to become the Parish of Christ Church Bangkok today. Mission work among the Thai people effectively started only in 1991. The late Archdeacon Gerald Khoo and his family were sent by the Diocese of Singapore as our first missionary family to Thailand. Through their labour of faith, a church comprising of 130 Thai members has been established in Bangkok. Two daughter churches spawned off from Bangkok to Ban Chang (1995) and Sawang Daendin (1998). A new church was also planted in Korat Province in 2002. Besides these churches, six other Karen and Lisu congregations were planted in the northern part of Thailand as a result of the missionary initiatives of Singapore Anglican churches.
The mission of the Anglican Church in Thailand is to fulfill of the Great Commission in this land. The next milestone is the establishment of a national Christian witness, through the setting up of the Diocese of Thailand. The criteria for the formation of a Diocese include: six parishes, a strong team of local clergy and lay leadership. This can take place only when there is effective evangelism, intentional discipleship, genuine fellowship, transforming leadership development and Spirit-empowered missions.
The immediate challenge is to plant six Mother Churches in major cities in Thailand. These Mother Churches would in turn live out the Mission DNA to plant other churches in the nearby province, districts and towns.
Since 2010, a fresh wave of church plants began:
1. The Diocese of Sabah anchored a church plant in Rangsit suburb 30km north of Christ Church Bangkok (2010).
2. An ambitious faith venture to plant the future Cathedral of Thailand was initiated in Lat Krabang suburb, 35km east of Christ Church Bangkok.
3. A new Centre in Chiangmai, which will serve as a church plant and a base for the mission development in Northern Thailand has begun in 2013.
Each Church Plant, Outreach and Social Concern ministry prepare a bridge and a platform to bring the Gospel into an unreached community. Some examples are:
1. Rainbowland Child Development Centre (Bangkok, Ban Chang, Sawang Daendin) and St Andrew’s Child Development Centre (Chiangmai) – kindergarten ministry to reach middle and upper income of the community;
2. Shalem House (Bangkok) – a temporary shelter for poor parents from the Provinces who bring their children or relatives for treatment of critical illness in Chulalongkorn University Hospital;
3. Bethlehem House (Ban Chang) – a leadership development Centre to nurture neglected and unwanted children into God fearing leaders in society;
4. Cornerstone Student Center (Lat Krabang) and Alpha Student Center (Korat) – a meeting point to touch undergraduates and students through English Conversation Classes.