A religious group has applied to have the Yan Kwong Lutheran Church at the Ma On Shan mining village in the New Territories listed as a Grade III historic building, Apple Daily reported Monday.
Grade III structures are buildings of some merit for which preservation in some form would be desirable.
The church was built more than 50 years ago by the Evangelical Lutheran Church Of Hong Kong and gave support to villagers and miners in the area, most of whom had fled civil war on the mainland.
The religious group plans to spend about HK$10 million (US$1.29 million) refurbishing the site to “convey the miners’ tenacity that symbolized Hong Kong’s post-war spirit”.
The group’s manager said the village had more than 10,000 residents at its peak, more than 6,000 of whom were miners. The group also built a kindergarten, an elementary school and a clinic for the village as well as distributed daily supplies. The mine closed in 1976 and since then villagers have gradually moved out, leaving about 80 families in the area.
The first phase of the renovation will include rebuilding the church and schools. The group’s funds are limited so it will seek help from other sources, Tik Chi-yuen, chief executive of the group’s social service department, was quoted as saying.
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