Japan: Cathedral, destroyed twice by bombs and earthquake, is reborn

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglicans in Japan’s Diocese of Tohoku this week celebrated the consecration and dedication of its new cathedral.

Tohoku diocese’s Cathedral Church of Christ, in Sendai City, was destroyed twice – first in 1945 during an air raid and, after being rebuilt, was damaged beyond repair in the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear fallout disaster.

On March 1, however, 300 people traveled from across Japan to attend a special Service of Consecration and Dedication for the new cathedral that has been built to replace its predecessor.

Attendees of what was described as a joy-filled event included people who had lost their homes and family members in the triple disaster that befell Japan.

“It’s been three years since the Tohoku disaster and the new church has been completed,” said Tohoku Bishop John Hiromichi Kato. “It was made possible not only by the donations and huge efforts of the laity of the church but also the prayers and support of the whole of the Anglican Church in Japan.

“The church is located right in the middle of the Tohoku disaster area, and it serves as a Cathedral Church and a parish church, as well as place of healing, encouragement and hope and prayers for the many, many people who still are living with huge difficulties today.”

The Anglican Church in Japan (Nippon Sei Ko Kai) has been responding to the needs of those affected physically, spiritually, economically and mentally by the disaster in 2011.

Nippon Sei Ko Kai is holding memorial services on March 11 at three locations across the Diocese of Tohoku to commemorate all those who lost their lives, to pray for all those who were affected, and to pray that people can return to a normal life.

The services will be held at St. Stephen’s Church in Fukushima-shi, the location of the nuclear plant malfunction; Christ Church in Sendai, the Cathedral of Tohoku diocese; and Morioka Sei Ko Kai in Morioka-shi, which was affected by earthquake.

These three locations have been chosen because they are symbolic of the three most affected prefectures, namely Miyagi, Fukiushima and Iwate. The services will be held at 1 p.m., with a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. for people to remember the disasters and their impact.

Each church within NSKK has been asked to have similar service.

Comments

  1. Alda Morgan says:

    I am very moved and happy to read of this consecration. While I do not know that part of Japan, I do know its Bishop. Bp. Kato took a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific while I was director of that program. We all came to admire and feel great affection for him and we rejoiced when we heard about his election after returning to Japan. The diocese is fortunate in having such a man as bishop and leader. Many of us shall certainly join in spirit with the Anglicans of Japan on March 11 and wish them Godspeed in this next chapter of their recovery.

  2. Malcolm J Blue says:

    No pics???

  3. Melanie Barbarito says:

    Having lived in Japan, my heart continues to go out to those who suffered so much. I am so glad that the Anglican Church can be there to support and comfort the survivors.

  4. Temmo Korisheli says:

    There are some informal photos on this page, starting at photo #9:
    http://scottshaw.org/?p=8532

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