On June 6, Tenrikyo UK Centre in Hendon, London, celebrated its 10th anniversary in the presence of Rev. Yoichiro Miyamori, head of Tenrikyo Overseas Department, and Rev. Yoshinori Tanaka, head of Tenrikyo Europe Centre located in Antony, a suburb of Paris. A total of 96 people attended the service commemorating the anniversary.
The Tenrikyo mission in the United Kingdom had its start when Senba Branch Church (currently Senba Grand Church) sent three missionaries to London in 1910. Mission stations were later established between the 1980s and recent years.
The UK Centre was established in May 2000 in Wembley, a London suburb, and obtained charitable status in 2001. In 2006, the centre was relocated to its present site. The United Kingdom is presently home to five mission stations and 71 Yoboku.
Last year, followers connected to the UK Centre made it a goal to focus on holding service practices. Beginning in March 2009, followers planned and took part in service dance practices after the centre’s monthly services in unity of mind.
Rev. Miyamori delivered the sermon for the service commemorating the anniversary. He spoke about the efforts of the first Tenrikyo missionaries who set foot in London 100 years ago and stressed the significance of having people living in the same region cooperate with one another by saying, “I’d like to see all of you living in the United Kingdom unite your minds, rejoice in the present, and take delight in the future while dedicating your daily efforts layer upon layer.” He further stated: “The way the next 100 years will unfold depends on your life of faith from now on. I hope you do your best so that, 100 years later, people will shed tears of joy upon witnessing how the path in the United Kingdom has grown.”
UK Centre Head Takayuki Onoue then took the podium. After thanking guests and worshipers for attending, Rev. Onoue mentioned that when the Shinbashira visited the centre in 2000, he presented followers with his calligraphy that read “unity of mind.” Rev. Onoue explained the significance of the phrase, and after reaffirming the basic points of Rev. Miyamori’s message, he expressed his determination to have the congregation forge ahead as one.
After a commemorative photo, four followers gave faith experience speeches during the after-service festivities. Musical performances and singing also took place. June 6 also saw the publication of a history detailing the UK Centre’s 10 years.