background & history

about the logo 

The logo is a Pu-erh Coin/Cake which is a traditional way to wrap and store tea leaves. Coins are often displayed on wooden stands in tea shops. The circular shape has no beginning or end and represents God’s love for us. The circle shape also represents the drawing together of people from every tribe, tongue and nation, as well as the completeness of Christ’s life and work.


The character in the centre means “Tea”. It is made of 3 radicals: (from top-to-bottom) leaves; person; and tree. The cross-shaped strokes emphasis the centrality of Jesus, who in the form of a person (rad. 2),  willingly hung on a tree (rad. 3), so that we might blossom and have life (rad. 1).
In many cultures, tea brings people together. It is hoped that The Teahouse 茶 will inspire reconciliation and the creation of spaces where people are able to enter into constructive dialogue with one another in the presence of Christ.

what the tea house is and is not

The Teahouse 茶 is not a political movement. It does not purport to have any agendas, other than to highlight and support clergy with Chinese-heritage. Accordingly, The Teahouse 茶 does not have its own opinions per se. It does not possess a mind.
Its main objective is to direct people to individual clergy with Chinese-heritage who do have their own thoughts and can offer their opinions on any given subject. It is these voices that The Teahouse 茶 seeks to amplify. To prescribe The Teahouse 茶 its own agency would risk drowning out the voices of the very people it is seeking to empower.
In this way, The Teahouse 茶 creates a space where interlocutors on opposite sides of even the most heated debates can find a sense of belonging and togetherness in this shared space.  Tea Houses have long been places where people from all sectors of society, persuasions and walks of life have been able to  find a seat at a table, drink tea and converse well.

How the Teahouse was formed

The beginnings of The Teahouse 茶 can be traced back to 2016, when Mark & Kayi Nam returned to the U.K. after living and working in Hong Kong for eleven years. Shortly after commencing theological studies at Trinity College, Mark began the discernment process with the Diocese of Bristol in late 2016.
Hoping to find existing clergy with Chinese-heritage to identify with, it took Mark 9 months to track down Revd. Wing-Man Tsang in 2017, who was a Team-Vicar in Worthing, West Sussex. It was during this time that Mark & Kayi felt the need to create a platform to support Chinese-heritage clergy. This is when The Teahouse 茶 idea was birthed. This was heavily influenced by Mark’s theological studies, particularly his MA dissertation which was titled ‘Prophetic Dialogue, East-Asian Theology and the Changing Voice of Mission: What can the Church of England learn from East-Asian theology in terms of contextualising the Gospel?’
Mark spent the next two years looking for clergy with Chinese-heritage by calling up individual dioceses, searching online and keeping an eye on publications like The Church Times. Up until this point, the CofE did not have sufficient data to identify clergy by ethnicity. After very little success, Mark purchased a subscription for Crockford’s Clerical Directory and used the search-field to type in Chinese surnames one-by-one, which eventually yielded  some positive results. By early 2020, Mark & Kayi had located and connected with 9 clergy with Chinese-heritage. Due to COVID-19, meeting in person was not an option, so Mark created a WhatsApp group called The Tearoom. The word ‘room’ reflected the intimacy and private nature of the group.
As the WhatsApp group began to grow and friendships deepen, Mark & Kayi felt it was time to revisit the idea of setting up The Teahouse 茶 again. With the help of a friend from Hong Kong (now in the U.S.)  The Teahouse 茶 website was launched on May 16th, 2021 which also  happens to be National Children’s Day in the U.K. Given that one of Mark & Kayi’s hopes is to see their three children and future generations of British-Chinese welcomed into the Church of England, launching on National Children’s Day did not seem too incongruous and in fact, was a helpful reminder to keep looking to the future with hope.

future plans

It is hoped that The Teahouse 茶 will one day be in a position to offer financial support to those of Chinese-heritage studying for or considering ordination, as well as  for projects or initiatives that strengthen links between the Church of England and Chinese communities in the U.K. This will require donors who would be willing  to give regularly, as well as The Teahouse 茶 establishing itself as a charitable entity. If you are able to help with either of these aspects, please email us at
As The Teahouse 茶 grows it is envisaged that some of its members will be able to offer presentations, lectures and training to the wider church. It is also hoped that the website will  offer resources and provide reliable information.  In the future, The Teahouse 茶 hopes to organise events and webinars that offer a mix of theological reflection, cultural appreciation and teaching, featuring special guests as well as drawing from its own number.