Just eleven months ago I wrote a blog on an autobiography written by ‘An overseas Brit and a Sichuan country girl’. She was Audrey Donnithorne who died in Hong Kong, 9 June, aged 98.
Audrey was born in China, studied in England, taught in Australia, researched economics in Hong Kong and travelled in and out of China for 40 years before being banned.
She was one of the founders of AITECE, the organisation with which I worked in Hong Kong, sending volunteer teachers to China to work with Chinese students and improve cross-cultural relationships.
Audrey had a deep interest in the progress of the Church in China, especially in recent years.
Like most people familiar with the situation in China she was pessimistic about the outcome of the agreement between the Vatican and Beijing in 2018.
In a recent article she said, “The full resumption of diplomatic relations between China and the Holy See will probably come eventually, but in God’s time, in this millennium or the next. But we must bear in mind that, perhaps, the greatest long-term danger to the Church in China may come not from government oppression but from government patronage and that, as in the fourth century West, the switch from one to the other might arrive with surprising speed.“
She will be missed by many, in many countries.