The Anglican Church in Florence
11am Holy Eucharist with Sermon and music
St James Episcopal Church
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A Message From Father Andrew
Greetings to the St. James Church Community!
I have been a priest for over 33 years, but I have taken on the specific ministry of transition specialist or Interim Minister 8 years ago. St. James is now the sixth church I’ve served as an Interim. Some of the more recent churches I’ve served have had their clergy leave under unfortunate and difficult circumstances. I’ve had to work with the congregations and leadership to rebuild trust and heal wounds. I’ve learned that there are three things that can help, and which I try to offer in any church I serve. I seek to be Competent, Trustworthy and Caring to the best of my ability.
For our interim time together to be grace filled and enlivening, I need your help. In order to help me be competent, I need your wisdom, perspectives, observations and candor. We interims often hear “we’ve never done it that way before.” I will certainly introduce a few changes in worship and operations, but I don’t want to make changes all willy-nilly. If there is something that could stand to be changed, I want to be able to give some instruction and rationale as to why, and get your feedback before and after.
For me to be trustworthy, I need to have your expectations and assumptions about my role clarified. I want to make promises I can keep; and I need to be sure I don’t step on the toes of others. I want to bring my joy and enthusiasm about God and the Way of Love and work to blend it with the cultures, history and diversity that are part of St. James.
For me to be caring in a meaningful way; I need you to share with me your hopes and dreams; your struggles and your pains. I promise to meet you with compassion, prayer, and respect. I am happy to arrange to visit with you in my office or to meet outside. You are the real treasures of this church and I’m here to give you God’s blessings as we share this journey of faith together. For these next many months, we are together “Companions on the Way of love.”
St. James has begun its search for a new rector; a Parish Profile Committee has been formed. It has been soliciting ideas and comments from members of the parish in preparation for writing the parish biography, which is an important first step in the search. We will be providing regular updates in our weekly e-newsletter, as well as at our Sunday services. Please watch this space for future updates and information.
If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact the church office (info at the bottoms) or drop a note in our physical mailbox
St. James Church donates a significant amount of its income to local, national and international charities. Only non-profit organizations are eligible to receive grants.
Submissions are currently being accepted for consideration. Grant recipients will be named in December.
Please contact Ms. Cynthia D’Alimonte with your nominations: email@example.com.
The Chancel Choir offers special music during the Sunday liturgy twice per month from September through June, and for special occasions.
Visiting choirs and musicians from Europe and around the world often sing on Sundays. The Chancel choir is open to new membership and welcomes anyone who wishes to sing. Please contact Sophie Gallagher, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Francis of Assisi Pilgrim Credentials
St. James Church is thrilled to be a pick up point for “pilgrim passports”. Credentials may be picked up during business hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm) by visiting the church office. Upon arrival, make your way to the church office which is downstairs in the undercroft on the far end from the front of the church.
The St. James Food Bank is undergoing a transition. They will no longer be distributing food, but rather clothing, home goods (dishes and small kitchenware), personal hygiene products (including sanitary napkins and diapers/nappies).
Please refrain from bringing in food donations at this time.
For inquiries please contact the Beth Tappero, Director, at email@example.com
Study Abroad Students
University students are most welcome at St. James Church. Many students volunteer at our weekly Food Bank, arriving early to help organize the food and clothing we give out to those in need. Also, we have a library that students can make use of in the undercroft. It is available during office hours (Monday through Friday 9:00 to 13:00).
For further information, please contact the Church Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39 055 294417 Monday through Friday 9:00 to 1:00pm.
The first Wednesday of every month (October through June) there is a Thrift Shop sale in the St. James Undercroft from 9:30 – 11:30.
Proceeds go to the St. James Food Bank, the Missionarie di Carita’ (Mother Theresa Nuns) and St. James Church.
Items sold are all donations which the Shop relies on in order to thrive. People bring clothing, toys, homewares and much more.
Donations* may be dropped off Monday to Friday 9:00 – 13:00.
* Please refrain from bringing items that are difficult to transport or move. No donations will be accepted during the months of July and August.
Alcoholics Anonymous in English
Below you will find the days and times that AA holds meetings in our Meeting Room. Please refer to this site for any further information: https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu
Monday 7 – 8 pm
Tuesday 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Wednesday 7 – 8 pm
Thursday 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Friday 7 – 8 pm
Saturday 5 – 6 pm
Adult Lending Library
St. James Church provides an array of books for anyone who is looking for reading material in English. Come and browse our bookshelves and enjoy some reading in the Church Undercroft, or check out a book to enjoy wherever you’d like. The Adult Lending Library is open during office hours, Monday through Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm.
Children’s Lending Library
The Children’s Lending Library offers an extensive collection of children’s and young adult books. For a modest annual subscription fee (per family), parents can check out books for their little ones. The Children’s Lending Library is hosted by St. James Church as an outreach ministry to the Florentine community and it is an independent, volunteer-run, non-denominational community service. They sponsor Halloween, Christmas and Easter parties and are often looking for volunteers to help keep the books in order, it’s a true old fashioned library! For further information visit their blog: childrenslendinglibrary
Getting Married in Florence
Congratulations on your engagement!
St. James Episcopal Church in Florence, Italy offers religious ceremonies for couples of all denominations and backgrounds.
If you would like to book a wedding at St. James Church, please take a look at our requirements and important details and contact the Parish Office for any further questions and booking information.
St. James Town House
Accommodation in Florence, Italy
The St. James Town House, in the heart of Florence, is the perfect place to stay with friends or family.
We are centrally located near Santa Maria Novella train station, the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, and many other attractions.
We accept reservations for a minimum of one week and a maximum of three months.
The city of Florence was closed to non-Roman Catholic churches until after the Grand Duke of Tuscany was exiled in 1849 and the Tuscan parliament passed legislation permitting churches of other denominations. About 1850 a few Americans began organizing a church, and the parish was officially recognized in 1867.
The beautiful building we now occupy was designed as the last work of an English architect, prominent in the Gothic Revival movement of the late 19th Century. The land was purchased in 1907 for $ 12,822; church construction, organ and other furnishings totalled $ 66,556. More than half of the total was contributed by Edward Francis Searles. A crucial $ 10,000 came from J. Pierpont Morgan, who was approached by church representatives following his generosity to the Episcopal Church in Rome in purchasing a piece of land inside the walls of the old city. Upon examination of the architect’s drawings, he declared the building inadequate and requested more elaborate plans. When these were produced, his gift was forthcoming.
The church was closed during World War II, but was not heavily damaged. It was reopened in 1947, a time when the American community in Florence included Bernard Berenson, Sinclair Lewis, and the M.I.T. inventor Philip Baldwin.
The church’s most dramatic moment came on November 3 – 4, 1966, when the Arno River flooded, rising to a height of 12 feet in some of Florence’s museums and monuments, doing devastating damage. The water and fuel oil flooded the parish hall under the church and reached the window sills of the rectory. St. James parishioners wrote their friends in America and within the next 3 months raised $ 425,000 to help the needy. The vestry, in cooperation with the British, set up a relief agency to investigate each case and to provide a maximum grant of $35 weekly per family.
Having come from a past when the purpose of the church was to provide a place of worship and community for English – speaking people, we are a multilingual international congregation.
GET IN TOUCH
We would love to hear from you!
"We rejoice in a diverse and international parish family, and serve Italian and English speakers from many denominations, backgrounds and cultures."
The Rev. Andrew A. Cooley, Interim Rector
Edgardo Sasuman, Sacristan
Sandro Sanavio, Business Manager
Andrea Ballerini, Bookkeeper
Riccardo Foti, Organist
Patricia Estrada, Secretary