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St Mary's Anglican Church Okazaki

Japanese, English & Taize services in Higashiyama

Spirituality means different things to different people. Some meditate in silence. Some would like to pray or make a joyful noise. Whether you are young or old, where you are in your walk in life, or what tradition you have been brought up with, you can find your home and community at St Marys. Even within the traditions of the Anglican and Episcopalian Church, there exists within its communion a family of ways to connect with the divine.

Each month they host a Taize Service, whose traditions go back to the Ecumenical movement in war torn Europe in the 1940s. Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche, whose parents demanded authenticity and truthfulness in our lives, saw the need to bring healing and communion with those suffering during conflict, as well as bringing fellowship between the Catholic and Protestant traditions.

Each Sunday they also have the more traditional Holy Communion service in Japanese at 7:00 am and 10:45 am. The English service is at 8:00 am, and is often combined with the St Agnes English service at 8:30 am, attended by a faithful group whose small size makes it is very approachable. At the same time, the community here is well connected with the wider Kyoto establishment. For example, they are proud supporters of the Kindergarten next door, as well as the Boy Scouts in Kyoto who meet in the church building. Ryotaro Hashimoto, a former Prime Minister, was a boy scout, so you never know where scouting could lead you.

St Mary’s is an inclusive church that aims to be a blessing to all people in Kyoto, bringing the gospel to visitors or residents, and bringing to life the words of Isaiah 52:7

“How beautiful upon the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who proclaims peace,

Who brings glad tidings of good things,

Who proclaims salvation,

Who says to Zion,

“Your God reigns!”

St Mary's Church was founded over a century ago in 1911, on the south-western corner of Okazaki and Marutamachi Streets. As one of the older churches in Kyoto, it is a landmark in the peaceful parkland area of the Okazaki District, about fifteen minutes stroll from the Heian Shrine, Hosomi Museum and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Being on Marutamachi Street, it is also on the same street as Heian no Mori Hotel, Imura Art Gallery, the Kyoto Imperial Palace and route 204 or 93 buses which takes ten minutes from Maruatamachi Subway Station to the church.

The current building was built earlier this century following damage suffered after the Kobe Hanshin earthquake in 1995. The modern brick building is known for its angular lines whilst retaining the spiritual, peaceful quality associated with its stained glass windows. The light filled space is also popular for weddings and the pastoral team is looking forward to meeting you soon.

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