Centre Background

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Since the St John’s Cathedral started in 1849, social ministry to the Hong Kong society has always been an integral and important part of this community based on the needs of the time. Ministries such as caring for the homeless, looking after the refugees and orphans, giving support to foreign workers, providing counselling and raising awareness on HIV related matters all came about as a response to the need of a particular era. In 1995, the St John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre was established. The Centre was the first faith-based organization to undertake the AIDS ministry in Hong Kong. The Centre is one of the important ministries of the Cathedral.

The pace of life in today's society is rapid, and Hong Kong people often have to face a lot of stress and challenges in their lives. "The Hong Kong People's Stress index questionnaire 2015" visited about 600 Hong Kong residents to learn about their sources of stress and ways to alleviate negative sentiment. 70% of those interviewed adults believe that the stress they face is high, while 60% think that stress is quite affecting life, reflecting signs of emotional distress among Hong Kong people because of life stress, Also, according to The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong, a survey conducted in 2017 on understanding the troubles and stress of young people indicated 76% of Form 4 to Form 6 students believe that their biggest source of annoyance is their studies, followed by 6% of interpersonal relationships and the economic issue. Moreover, more than 50% of respondents had some degree of depression (68.5%) and anxiety symptoms (54.4%), according to a study on depression and anxiety among Hong Kong university students (Depression and Anxiety Among University Students in Hong Kong, published at Hong Kong Medical Journal on 24 September 2018). About 9% of the respondents had moderate to severe depressive symptoms, and 5.8% had severe anxiety symptoms.

Emotional distress affects individual social functions, such as academic, work, social, or family.  This is imperative to provide all kinds of life education and assistance to the community and young people in Hong Kong. In view of this, the St. John's Cathedral conducted an internal service assessment for the St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre in 2016-2018 and decided to develop the Centre into a more comprehensive life education centre based on the wealth of experience and achievements established over the past 20 years. On November 20, 2018, the St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre was formally renamed the St John’s Cathedral Life Enrichment Centre in response to the urgent needs of today's Hong Kong community.