Foochow Methodist Church rededicates clinic for migrant workers

Foochow Methodist Church rededicates clinic for migrant workers
Bishop Dr Wong with FMC pastoral and lay leaders
Bishop Dr Gordon Wong (fifth from left) with FMC pastoral staff, ministry staff and leaders

Foochow Methodist Church (FMC) held a rededication service on 7 August 2022 for its Caring Community Clinic (CCC)—a clinic that was set up on the church premises specifically for migrant workers in 2003. FMC is located at Race Course Road in Little India, and is the second oldest church under the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC).

The clinic is open every Sunday evening, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is manned by volunteer healthcare professionals, church members from FMC and other churches. For a nominal fee of $5, migrant workers can consult a medical doctor about their health problems.

The clinic, which suspended operations during the Covid-19 pandemic, was renovated in May 2022, and resumed operations in June after Safe Management Measures were lifted. Before the pandemic, the clinic saw up to 100 patients queuing to see a doctor. The newly renovated clinic has two consultation rooms and a reception area.

“We are very pleased to welcome our migrant worker brothers again to the clinic,” said Ps Raja Thomas, lay ministry staff overseeing the Tamil Ministry at FMC, which celebrated its 27th anniversary on the same day. Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was the guest-of-honour at the thanksgiving service and clinic rededication service.

“The ministry of the medical clinic is a wonderful way of showing love to others,” Bishop Dr Wong said during his sermon about faith expressing itself through love and loving our neighbours as Christ commanded. He thanked the doctors and volunteers who served in this ministry.

Shining star of the migrant worker ministry

Dr Tan Seung Po was one of the medical professionals who mooted the idea of an on-site clinic and has served with the ministry since its inception.

He recalled that on Sunday evenings, there would always be big gatherings of migrant workers outside the church. “[The late] Rev Ding (former Pastor-in-Charge at FMC) would invite them to come into the church. As some of the workers got to know me better, they would approach me about medical issues they faced. It was hard not to do anything about their medical problems [as a doctor]. So I thought, how could we help them with their medical needs?”

Dr Tan consulted other doctors and by God’s grace, FMC set up a clinic on the church premises after successfully obtaining a licence from the Ministry of Health in 2003.

“Since then we have been able to expand the services of this clinic. The clinic became so popular that it was overwhelmed and strained manpower capabilities. We had to limit the consultations to 30 patients on Sunday evenings in the two hours that the clinic is open,” said Dr Tan.

The CCC is now a major part of the Tamil Ministry in FMC. “When I see something that is meaningful and purposeful, it fills my heart with joy and makes me excited to continue and persevere in service,” said Dr Tan on why he has been able to serve for two decades in the ministry.

Call for volunteers

On the same day that the clinic was rededicated, an information session was held for those interested in volunteering with the clinic. Currently, there are seven doctors and five clinic assistants on the volunteer roster, some of whom are members of FMC.

“It’s important to groom a younger generation of doctors and volunteers to continue the work,” Dr Tan said.

To find out more about FMC’s migrant worker ministry, or volunteer with the Caring Community Clinic, contact Ps Raja Thomas at

By Lianne Ong, Editor of Methodist Message with assistance from Ps Raja Thomas, Lay Ministry Staff at Foochow Methodist Church. / Photos courtesy of Foochow Methodist Church