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A unique pulpit

Father Marmand decorated Kuroshima church’s pulpit with ornamentations which he himself carved by hand. There are only a small number of pulpits in Japan.

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Candidates for a world heritage

Kuroshima Church Kuroshima Church
Kuroshima Church

After Father Marmand arrived on Kuroshima and it was decided that a new church would be built, the existing church (which had been built by Father Pelu) was disassembled. This material was then used to build the presbytery (where Father Marmand would live).
It is said that while the presbytery was being constructed, Fr. Marmand lived in a tiny house with only two tatami mats. Here, he worked hard hand carving ornamentations for the pulpit using a band saw. When he finished, he also did the same for the church’s font. From this we can gauge something of Father Marmand’s character, who was clearly very skilled with his hands.
A pulpit is traditionally where a Catholic priest reads the Gospel from and delivers his sermon during Mass. They were therefore often constructed in such a way so as to amplify the priest’s voice, so that it could be clearly heard in all parts of the church. Father Marmand’s pulpit has an elaborate spiral stairway leading up to it, which is unusual in Japanese churches. Moreover, it is unique owing to the fact that its ornamentations were hand carved by Father Marmand. Although the pulpit is no longer used, it still sits beside the central altar, where it is carefully preserved.