On May 21st, the location of James Hudson Taylor’s birth on Cheapside Barnsley was officially marked with two blue heritage plaques.
The plaque were provided by Barnsley Civic Trust and a friendly local business. They were officially placed by the Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr. Dorothy Higginbottom and Rev. Dr. Lai Pong from the Chinese Christian Community in Leeds.
In United Kingdom, a blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as an historical marker.
The significance of this occasion is that a second blue plaque in Chinese will be hung next to the one in English, in order to commemorate the great love that Hudson Taylor had for the Chinese. It is believed to be the first time in history that a Chinese plaque is made.
James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) was an English missionary to China. At the age of 21, Taylor left his homeland to China and started his works near Shanghai, where he then established a church. He founded the China Inland Mission, one of the largest and Christian movements in the world. Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces.
A local organization “The Barnsley Hudson Taylor Group” launched a "Taylor Trail" project to commemorate the story of this great missionary. The two blue plaques were part of the "Taylor Trail" project.
[Editor's note: Richardson Lau translated the article.]