Visit to Shimizu Catholic Church

I had heard that the Shimizu Catholic Church in Shizuoka City was going to be demolished.
However, it was only when there were only a few days left in October that I learned on Twitter that the church was going to be closed at the end of October.

I had hoped to see the church once, if it was closed, I might never be able to see it again. So, I decided to go there in October.

I’ve made a pop-up card of this church before, so I’ve seen pictures of it many times, but this was my first time to actually see the church.

There was a notice on the door.

“Urgent Notice
Due to the deterioration of the current church, it will be banned from use as per the diocesan decision dated September 29. For safety reasons, the Shimizu Church Committee has decided to ban the use of the cathedral and close it as follows. We regret to inform you of this, but we respectfully ask for your understanding.
Please accept our sincere apologies. (The following is omitted.) “

The notice was from the Church Committee of Shimizu Catholic Church.

I took off my shoes, opened the door and went inside, where I found that a meeting was in progress.
I was not sure if I could enter, so I told a person standing at the back of the hall that I had come to see the building.He told me that I could listen to the meeting if I wanted, so I sat down and listened with them.
The meeting was about how to preserve this church.

I got permission to take a photo, so I did after the meeting was over.

The windows are made of tinted glass, and each window has a different color, so there is a nice variety.

I took the picture in the auto mode of the camera, so the windows appeared white by the outside light, but in reality, the colors are clearly visible like this.

This is a photo of the doorway from the inside. The upper part of the entrance is a small room, which seems to be a choir room. The stairs on the left of the doorway lead up to the second floor.

On the second floor, there are two ladders from which climb up to the bell tower. I guess the string is connected to the bell.

Looking down into the hall from the second floor. In front is the altar. The nave is covered with tatami mats, while the side aisles are covered with wooden boards.

The position of the tatami mats in relation to the pillars is interesting.

In fact, the tatami mats seem to have been made in the shape of yellow lines along the pillars.

I saw two notices from the Bishoprics of Yokohama been posted inside the hall.
The Catholic Church in Japan has 16 dioceses (bishoprics). The Bishopric of Yokohama has jurisdiction over the dioceses of Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Yamanashi, and Nagano Prefectures.

The notice dated August 2020 is a notification that the decision has been made to rebuild the church.
And the document dated September 2021 was a notice of decision that the use of the building would be prohibited in the future.

However, even now, local residents continue to demand that the cathedral be preserved, and there seems to be no consensus also among the faithful.

In July 1945, the cathedral was spared from air raids and artillery fire and was used as a first aid station for the wounded. Some people say that the building should be preserved in order to pass on the history.

The modern feel of the windowpanes, the light blue of the ceiling, and the color of the wood on the floor and window frames. Seeing the building for the first time, I felt the interior atmosphere of the cathedral was very pleasing. As an outsider, I can’t request too much about it, but I would like to see it preserved if it is possible.