Parishioners of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour taking part in a 4-km walk to assist Catholics in a Chinese village.

A parish’s Charity Fun Walk raised about $10,000 for the construction of church facilities on Hainan Island, China.

Parishioners of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour took part in the 4-km walk along East Coast Park on Jan 2 morning. They included youths and elderly, people in wheelchairs, children and even babies in the arms of their parents.

The event was part of the parish’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which had the theme, One Church, One Family.

Parish priest Fr Gregory Van Giang had appealed to parishioners to raise funds for the rebuilding of a chapel in Xian Gou village in Hainan Island. Planning started as early as last February 2011.

Xian Gou Village has a population of 30,000 and is approximately 48 km from Haikou, capital city of Hainan Island. The number of Catholics in this farming village is approximately 300.

The church building here was built in 1627 by Jesuits but later demolished. Today, the site is occupied by an old double-storey parish house and a dilapidated single-storey apartment with wooden roofing and three small rooms.

Organisers say the funds raised from the charity walk will go towards building a place of worship, a study venue for students, and a venue for community celebrations and other events.

Fr Van Giang flagged off the walk at 9.30 am after saying an opening prayer. Although the entire event lasted about two hours, participants said they did not feel tired.

Most said it was a leisurely walk and offered them the opportunity to chat and enjoy each other’s company.

A balloon artist was also present to entertain the children.

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