This past May 16th -18th, I attended the diocese service of the 145th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Hokkaido along with their Minister’s Association. I gave a lecture during the Minister’s Association and a sermon at the diocese service, and was able to understand from experience the atmosphere of the Diocese of Hokkaido. I reported a bit about the Diocese of Chubu as well. There are often difficulties in understanding other dioceses, but I felt that we might be able to better understand each other through these exchanges no matter how small it is.
In fact, there had been a relation between the Diocese of Hokkaido and Diocese of Chubu during the early missionary stage. The missionary activities of the Diocese of Chubu were started in 1875 in Niigata through P.K. Fyson, a missionary from the Church of England who later became the first bishop to the Diocese of Hokkaido. Therefore, it can be said that the two dioceses of Chubu and Hokkaido are connected through the works of Revd. Fyson.
Revd. Fyson engaged in mission work for seven years in Niigata, and it is noted in “The History of the Diocese” that there were about ten baptismal candidates. One of them was Revd. Tetsuya Makioka, who had later worked in Chubu, and the other was Mr. Seigoro Akutagawa, who later became a missionary to the Diocese of Hokkaido. He also worked on Ainu missionary under Revd. Batchelor. That is one relation we have between the Diocese of Hokkaido and Chubu. (I also had the privilege of meeting the grandchildren of Mr. Akutagawa.) I am grateful to such a precious experience.
The Commemorative Holy Eucharist for the ministers of the Diocese who have passed away will be held on July 10. That day marks the 1st memorial year since the passing away of Bishop Toshiaki Mori. His wife, Atsuko, and younger sister and younger brother are also scheduled to attend. Since the Bishop’s funeral had been held in Tokyo, this day will also be taken as a memorial service. I hope you will all join us on this day.