Welcome to St. James Episcopal Church
An Anglican Church in Florence
St. James Episcopal Church is a member congregation of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and a Parish Church of the Anglican Communion.
Office Hours Autumn 2020
- Tuesday 9:00-13:00
- Thursday 9:00-13:00
- Friday 9:00-13:00
St. James calls a new Priest in Charge
Welcome to Fr. Easterling, New Priest in Charge called to St. James!
The Co-Chairs of the St. James Priest-in-Charge Search, Haswell Beni and Nevin Brown, together with the Interim Rector, Reverend Andrew Cooley, and the Bishop-in-Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches of Europe, the Rt. Rev. Mark D. W. Edington, are pleased to share this important and long-awaited update with our St. James community: after more than a year of discernment, we have called Rev. Richard Easterling.
The Rev. Richard Easterling is presently the Rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Please click THIS LIVE LINK to view our joyful video announcement!
We give thanks for a successful search, and lift up our prayers for a continuing smooth transition as we work to welcome Richard and his family to our community.
The Vestry of St. James Episcopal Church, Florence, Italy
Haswell Beni, Senior Warden
Nevin Brown Junior Warden
Lisa Colella, Treasurer
Betty Nadalini, Clerk
Sunday Worship during times of Covid-19
11am Holy Eucharist with Sermon and music
We have instated the following preventative measures:
- Masks are required at ALL times while indoors
- Everyone must keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters (5ft)
- Temperatures and Contact Tracing will be taken
- There will be no congregational singing
- Communion will be given in bread only
Via B. Rucellai, 9
50123 Florence, Italy
All our Sunday worship services are being live-streamed via our YouTube channel which you can find by CLICKING HERE
Sign up for our enews!
A Farewell Message From Father Andrew
I am so impressed with the faithful work of the Vestry, who have been engaged in the discernment process for over a year, to have now issued a call to Fr. Easterling to be the Priest in Charge. It has been a process marked by prayer, and deep listening to the congregation, each other, and to the several excellent candidates.
The process was complicated by the lockdown necessitated by the COVID 19 pandemic; but by adapting to on-line meetings and interviews, the Vestry, which is normally scattered around the world at times, was able to be fully engaged and participate thoroughly in each meeting
I believe that Fr. Easterling is an ideal fit for the challenges and opportunities that await St. James in the years to come. His experience, passion, and deep faith seem well suited to enable him to engage the work of caring for God’s people, equipping them for their ministries, and shining a light on God’s path.
St. James Welcomes Interim Vicar
Welcome to the Rev. Dr. Stephanie
We are pleased to announce that St. James has welcomed an assisting priest to serve for a few months. This will ensure pastoral support following Fr. Andrew’s retirement; while St. James works to have the travel and visa situation for Fr. Richard resolved.
In July, we welcomed the Rev. Dr. Stephanie Burette to St. James. Mother Stephanie was ordained priest on June 27, 2020 at a service at the American Cathedral in Paris, which is her home church. She graduated from seminary two years ago, and then upon her being ordained a Deacon, served as a Porter Fellow at St. George’s College, Jerusalem for the last year. She is highly accomplished for one so newly ordained; we are fortunate indeed to welcome Stephanie.
Sometimes a crisis has an opportunity. It turns out that Stephanie has been hired for an assistant priest position at a church in the United States. Yet it turns out that with the COVID pandemic, and the associated travel restrictions and delays in securing a VISA to work in the United States (Stephanie is a French Citizen); it seems highly unlikely that she will be permitted to move and take that position before December, if then. Both Stephanie, and our newly-called Priest in Charge, are in a parallel state of limbo. The Bishop saw this situation and proposed this arrangement as a solution. Stephanie, the vestry, and St. James enthusiastically welcomed it.
We have agreed on the title “Interim Vicar” to describe her position at St. James. Stephanie will serve as a “Vicar;” meaning (in this instance) she serves under the authority of the Bishop and the Vestry. If the Priest in Charge for St. James is able to be welcomed before Stephanie departs for her position in the United States, she will serve under the authority and direction of the Priest in Charge.
She has an email address assigned to her: email@example.com and is eager to get to know you. Send her a message of welcome. If you are able to come by and meet her, please do (we currently have limited office hours, so please call or email first). Offer to show her some of your favorite sights and destinations in Florence; she is new in town!
Priest-in-Charge Search Successfully Concluded
Our priest-in-charge search has successfully concluded in the call of Fr. Richard Easterling to be our new priest-in-charge. As such, the search committee was recognized and dissolved in the 11 AM service on Sunday, September 27.
Prayer for St. James
Faithful and loving God,
The St. James Chancel Choir has led the congregational hymn singing and has offered anthems during the Sunday liturgy on average three times a month.
Visiting choirs and musicians from Europe and around the world have also shared their talents with us on Sundays.
In these unprecedented times of the Covid pandemic, for the time being, liturgical music is provided by a soloist and our resident organist, Maestro Riccardo Foti.
The Chancel Choir, however, hopes in the near future to resume its activity and will be open to new membership and will welcome singers of all abilities!
Contact Elizabeth Chard – firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and updates.
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 (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00-13:00 through December 24, 2020) 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.
If you have questions, please call us at 055.294.417 (we speak English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese!) during business hours stated above.
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
St. James is pleased to welcome international students from all corners of the globe. During the pandemic, the numbers of international students have unsurprisingly dropped precipitously.
As soon as the students return, we look forward to welcoming them once more to St. James Church. Students historically volunteer at our weekly Food Bank, helping to organize the items we distribute. Our lending library will reopen to students in the undercroft when it is safe to do so.
For further information, contact the Church Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39 055 294417 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 to 1:00pm.
We are now accepting donations* during office hours (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:00-13:00).
All donations must be in closed plastic bags with the date clearly written on the outside.
There will be no sales for the rest of 2020. In January 2021, we will reevaluate the possible resumption of sales.
Normally, on the first Wednesday of every month (October through June) there would be a Thrift Shop sale in the St. James Undercroft from 9:30 – 11:30.
Proceeds would 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.
* 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
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.
We make a call for applications in the fall of each year. Keep this in mind throughout the year to have your suggestions ready when the time comes.
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