- “They say you can't grow grass and flowers in Midgar. But for some reason, the flowers have no trouble blooming here. I love it here.”
Sector 5 Church (スラム教会, Suramu Kyōkai?), also commonly referred to as Aerith's Church, is a presumably deserted church in Final Fantasy VII located is in Sector 5 of Midgar Slums. Aerith Gainsborough has succeeded in growing flowers in the church, a remarkable feat considering the local Mako Reactors leave the soil barren. Flowers also grow near Aerith's house, so the church is not the only place in the slums where soil is fertile. It is unknown which religion the church is part of, though the architecture appears to be based on Christian churches.
- Zack: "You don't see a lot of flowers in Midgar"
- Aerith: "They only grow here. Although, I planted some outside my house, too."
- —Zack and Aerith talking about flowers.
Zack Fair, SOLDIER First Class, falls from an unfinished section of the Sector 5 plate into the church. He awakens and meets Aerith asking to repay her with a date for saving him, although a puzzled Aerith asserts she did nothing but called out to him until he came to. Zack continues to visit the church to spend time with her up until he is sent on the mission to Nibelheim. Zack is impressed by the flowers and deems they would be seen as a luxury item in Midgar, offering to build her a flower wagon to help her sell them. After Zack's mentor Angeal Hewley passes away, a devastated Zack is comforted by Aerith in the church.
One day, Zack and Aerith witness an Angeal Copy, a winged wolf-creature, in the church defending the duo from Shinra Electric Power Company's battle robots. Deeming the creature not dangerous, Aerith and Zack let it rest in the church. It is implied the creature stayed at the church as Aerith uses it to send her final letter to Zack.
The Player Turk lost in the slums has found his/her way to Elmyra Gainsborough's house where they come across Aerith who flees. As AVALANCHE arrives Aerith returns and is protected by the Turk much to her surprise.
Hiding in the Sector 5 slums Aerith loses her White Materia, and as the Player Turk goes to retrieve it, Shears locates them and disposes of the Player Turk, taking Aerith to the Sector 5 Church where Fuhito and Elfé await. As they attempt to convince Aerith to divulge the location of the Promised Land, Aerith notes an ancient voice emanating from within Elfé is in pain. Elfé is confused by this revelation, and Fuhito becomes flustered and attempts to divert the subject. When Shears notices the Player Turk eavesdropping a fight breaks out but Aerith prevents Shears and Fuhito from killing the Turk, claiming she is defending her flower bed from further harm. During the commotion something seems to pain Elfé, who withdraws along with the rest of AVALANCHE.
As the Player Turk and Aerith leave the church, Tseng, who has been assigned for some time to capture Aerith, arrives in another attempt to convince her to work with Shinra. Misunderstanding, the Player Turk prevents Tseng from seeing Aerith as she runs back home.
Cloud falls from the Sector 5 Reactor down into the church and is found by Aeris, who remarks on Cloud's similarities with Zack. When Reno, a member of the Turks leading a group of Shinra soldiers, attempts to kidnap Aeris, she requests Cloud to be her bodyguard. The pair exits through an opening in the roof.
In Aeris's absence, two children take care of the flowers.
The church serves a pivotal role in curing the Geostigma disease. Even after Aerith's death, the flowers continue blooming thanks to the Lifestream flowing beneath the flower bed. Cloud stays at the church during his exile and search for forgiveness, and stores Materia in a chest in the church for some time before this.
Tifa engages Loz in the church when she and Marlene go looking for Cloud. She is defeated, and Cloud later finds her lying unconscious on the flower bed. Later, Aerith's Limit Break, Great Gospel, is activated in the church during Cloud's battle with Kadaj, curing Cloud's Geostigma.
Cloud demonstrates the healing powers of the water pooled in the church by curing Denzel of his Geostigma in a baptismal-like ceremony, after which several other children jump into the pool. Cloud spots Aerith crouching by some other children, similar to the aforementioned ghost. As she stands and walks to the doorway, she turns back to ensure Cloud will be alright, and steps into a white light with Zack. Cloud nods and responds he will be fine, as he is not alone anymore.
As Cloud and Aeris escape the church, Aeris joins the party as a playable character. During the fight with the Shinra soldiers Cloud can push several barrels on top of the church, knocking the enemies down from above to reduce the number of enemy encounters Aeris must face. This affects Aeris's affection value with Cloud, a factor determining an outcome of an event later on in the game.
The player needs to push the barrels in the right order: The upper left barrel first, the upper right barrel second, and the lower right barrel last. If the player waits too long with pushing a barrel or Aeris is forced into battle. If the player pushes the wrong barrel Aeris must battle an enemy anyway, and Cloud can also prompt Aeris to fight without pushing any barrels.
- Main article: Aeris's Ghost
After coming back to Midgar in Part 2 onwards, the player can find an apparition of Aeris on the flower bed. It only appears once, and once triggered can never been seen again, but numerous glitches surround this area and can be confused with this "ghost".
- Hedgehog Pie x2
- Hedgehog Pie x3
- Hedgehog Pie x2 (Back attack)
- Hedgehog Pie x3 (Ambush)
- MP (Boss)
- Guard Hound x2 (Boss)
- MP, Guard Hound (Boss)
|"Flowers Blooming in the Church"|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- has an entirely new arrangement, titled "The Burdened".
During the ending of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which takes place in the church, the song "Cloud Smiles" plays.
The church's flower field from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children appears in a Field Music Sequence for "Cloud Smiles" from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and "A Flower Blooming in the Slums (from FFVII "Aerith's Theme")" for Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
It also appears in a Battle Music Sequence.
- In an optional dialogue sequence with Cid in Final Fantasy VII, he says, "That reminds me of a test rocket that landed in the Midgar Slums long ago. I remember how relieved I was when I heard it never blew up". The crashed rocket in the church is most likely the rocket that Cid was referring to.
- The entire fighting sequence in the church between Loz and Tifa in Advent Children has been duplicated in the music video for the Korean pop singer Ivy MV's "Temptation of Sonata", albeit with minor changes, such as small parts of the fighting choreography being altered due to the absence of Loz's Dual Hound, and Tifa's victory by snapping Loz's neck at the end. The music video was banned on TV and singer Ivy was sued by Square Enix.
- A possible real-world Christian inspiration for the church is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which was built after Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego nearby in December 1531 and led him to the top of Tepeyac Hill, where he found Castilian roses, which were blooming in spite of them not being native to Mexico and out of season, to take to the area's Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, as proof.