Remembering Bishop Chiu Ban It
Singapore’s first Asian bishop passed away earlier this month.
Last Wednesday, 9 November 2016, in London, Bishop Chiu Ban It, Singapore’s first Asian Bishop went to be with the Lord. He is survived by his wife Bek Neo and their children.
Bishop Chiu was the Bishop of Singapore from 1966 to 1982. In 1941, he graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Laws, and went on to study at Westcott House Anglican Theological College in Cambridge, after which he was ordained in 1943.
He was first posted to be Curate at St Francis of Assisi’s Church in Bournville, Birmingham, after which he was priest-in-charge of St Hilda’s Church in Singapore, and later, Vicar of Selangor. From 1959 to 1962, Chiu was Secretary of the Australian Board of Missions and thereafter, with the Laymen World Council of Churches.
Bishop Chiu’s link to City Harvest Church comes by way of the charismatic revival in Singapore in the early 1970s. He experienced charismatic renewal and baptism in Spirit while attending the World Council of Churches Assembly in Bangkok at the end of December 1972. Around the same time that Reverend Canon James Wong had experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit following the Asuza Street Revival which caused revival to break out in cities across the world. Through these great men of God, Singapore too experienced a mighty revival, and City Harvest Church has carried the same spirit of revival since its inception.
Kong Hee, the senior pastor of CHC, shares his fond memories of Bishop Chiu. During one of Kong’s visits in recent years in London, Bishop Chiu shared with Kong about his conversation with the Lord. He asked the Lord, ““Father, why are You keeping me here? Let me go to heaven,” to which God replied, “Does it really matter? After all, you are already living the eternal life.”
As Kong reminisces about his time with Bishop Chiu, he says, “I am sure Bishop Chiu is so happy right now. He yearned so much for heaven every day, because he loved the presence of the Lord so much. While my heart aches and misses him deeply, I am also rejoicing at his union with the Father in heaven.
“I’m sure all of heaven rejoices at the homecoming of one of God’s generals.”