Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Anglican Communion, East

BP and I are on the road again, and thanks to the wonders of Google, were able to find a parish for her to visit. The church is called (I kid you not) St Alban's-by-St-Andrew's, as it resides right next door to the small Cathedral of St Andrew. It's a smallish building, very strikingly built with a traditional wooden interior and cross beams. Also quite a diverse community; the ushers were a middle-aged Japanese lady and a young African man. A good turn out on a rainy Sunday.

The congregation sang robustly and were very friendly at coffee, willing to tell the visitors sites to see and places to go. The members are truly far flung in origin, with a variety of accents delighting the ear, including Australian, British, American, and Japanese-inflected English. You see, St Alban's is the English speaking Anglican congregation in Tokyo, a member of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan), where your fearless correspondent is spending a week at a conference, and the members are a range of expats and locals. Lots of kids running about too.

As you would expect, the liturgy was pretty familiar, although some of the words differ. You'd have to ask an expert to detail the differences. A nice touch was at the end, when Fr Randall asked the visitors to introduce themselves and their home parish. I nudged BP who stood up and claimed St Paul's Cathedral, San Diego. There were visitors from Florida and England as well. We took along some friends from the conference who also appeared to enjoy this cross-cultural slice, before we spent the afternoon wandering rainy Tokyo and exploring her shrines and side streets.

That was yesterday for me, though still today for you. It's Monday here and I'm off on the day's activities. I've left a couple of posts in the queue and will be back to regularly blogging next week.


Leonardo Ricardo said...

Good for you! ENJOY JAPAN! For many years (almost a decade) I spent five months out of every year in the Far East and most of that time was spent in Tokyo and Osaka (where we did our product development and our patterns were made for our fab designs)...anyway, I sometimes attended the Tokyo Episcopal/Anglican Church because they had 12 Step Meetings in English (just like they had at St. Mary´s/Anglican in Hong Kong)...wonderful folks, charming, hospitable and kind!

JCF said...




Good to see you and BP enjoying the worldwide face of Anglicanism, IT (and I think Nippon Sei Ko Kai is still in communion w/ TEC O_o)