Financial obstacles during the church’s construction

Father Marmand gave his all to construct Kuroshima church. However, spiralling financial costs meant that construction had to be halted for a while.

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Candidates for a world heritage

Kuroshima Church Kuroshima Church
Kuroshima Church

When Father Marmand was appointed to Kuroshima in 1897, he knew that it was his mission to build a church, and so taking up his pen and tape measure, he began to design one. He was working with a budget of 7,000 yen. However, at the time when they had just finished building the ceiling over the altar, costs had already reached 12,363.60 yen, which was well over budget. Construction was temporarily suspended, and when it was resumed it cost a further 3,000 yen to complete the church, taking the final construction costs to 15,363.60 yen. Although Christians on the island participated in the construction work themselves and gave donations to keep costs to a minimum, the majority of the extra money was raised by Father Marmand.
The church was completed in 1902. After it had been dedicated, Father Marmand returned to France for a while. Although it is said that he went there to recuperate, it is also thought that he may have gone to raise money from his friends and other benefactors in order to help pay the outstanding construction costs. He had certainly given of himself wholeheartedly to construct the kind of church he had dreamed of building. Even today, the story of Father Marmand is still handed down among Kuroshima’s Christians.