The Japan Link
last updated on: 21st Oct 2013
Japan is a secular society with a minority Christian presence of about 1 million people – of this 50000 Anglican; an island nation who tends to find itself isolated from the Continent; an aging nation; and well developed economy, education & health being the big issues of the country.
The Diocese of Leicester has had a link with Japan for some 20 years.
The thrust of this link is the provision of friendship and encouragement to a Church that can feel isolated from its’ Christian brothers and sisters overseas, and yet has much spiritual wisdom and a rich cultural heritage to share.
Some of the things we do
Every month the Link provides content for the Anglican Church of Japan newspaper (the equivalent of our Church Times), sharing on events and ministry in our diocese.
The link helped provide 15 stained glass windows from the old Groby Road Hospital chapel and 30 pews, a lectern, altar table, priest’s desk & chair, and rails from the redundant church of St Paul’s in Foss Road, to Toyama in the Diocese of Kyoto which gave inspiration for the design of a new church in Toyama, St Mary’s. The beautiful new church was dedicated in 2005 and has given Japanese churches a strong sense of belonging to the international Christian community.
In Japan education is a key to Christian mission and development, an aim shared with our own diocese. The churches often run kindergartens and schools, and some have universities too. The Japan Link has facilitated visits between Leicester Cathedral Choir and 3 Anglican schools in Tokyo, where 30 young choir members participated in a variety of lessons.
Most years our Link welcomes and hosts school boys from the Rikkyo Anglican School, in Tokyo, as they travel to experience the UK and language schools.
The Link also holds regular cultural events giving people across the diocese the chance to see some of the important elements of life in the country.
We also encourage and support parish to parish, priest to priest, lay to lay and bishop to bishop links where opportunities arise.
Sendai Disaster 2011
The Anglican Church of Japan may be small in number but has been active in the disaster relief work following the tragic earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011. The Anglican Church of Japan set up the ‘Tohoku- Let’s Walk Together’ Project, providing practical support and help for those groups not supported by main relief efforts.
The disaster relief effort in Japan is far from over, and a DVD of the work is being provided through our Link for anyone wanting to find out what is happening now. Areas are still contaminated with nuclear material, people are still housed in temporary structures, many individuals remain unsupported as relief efforts focus on the major centres.
Last year our diocese through the Japan Link raised £5000 in a few weeks to support the relief efforts through coffee mornings, sales and information events. We thank everyone who was able to contribute. This year the Japan Link continues to support the relief efforts through information and continued fund raising.
For information on the Tohoku Disaster Relief efforts, or the Japan Link, contact:
Revd Stephen Crofts: 0116 327 9781 firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Mrs Yoshimi Gregory: 07986 196332
Update October 2013
Shortly after the big earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan in 2011, individuals, parishes and the Diocese of Leicester were able to send a donation towards the relief effort. Since that time, NSKK and The Project 2 Isshoni Aruko” have been working very hard to support this and phase I of the Project was completed in May 2013.
We have received a summary report and also a selection of photographs illustrating the work, along with the deep appreciation of NSKK and people involved with this activity for our generosity. Please continue to keep all who were and are still affected by this calamity in your prayers.