The 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.
11am Holy Eucharist with Sermon and music
St James Episcopal Church
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Annual Lenten Dinners
St. James will hold our annual Lenten dinners beginning on Wednesday, March 4, and weekly throughout the Lent season until April 1. Together we will enjoy 5 evenings of fellowship, meals and storytelling. This year, our theme will be “Tracing Our Journeys; Telling Our Stories; Sharing Our Gifts”.
- A blessing of Joy, Beauty or Wonder that changed my life
- A person who was a companion for me in my pilgrimage
- An experience where I felt equipped to offer a ministry
- A time I have been sustained by God’s grace
- I found a refuge when I was weary
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.”
Rector Search, Parish Profile and Vestry Updates
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 bottom) or drop a note in our physical mailbox.
Our open priest-in-charge search is active on the Episcopal News Service in the U.S. and (new!) will be live on the Church Times (UK) very soon. Again, please consider sharing this public information via your social media networks on behalf of St. James! Our priest-in-charge position will be posted until April 1.
Potential candidates must follow the application process by submitting their materials to the Office of Transition Ministry (https://episcopalchurch.org/
The St. James vestry, which comprises the search committee, joined Fr. Baer for a search-focused, on-site meeting on February 15. Six candidates to the vestry were also included in the meeting.
At the meeting we finalized our working schedule for the search:
March 29 – Elect new vestry members at Annual Parish Meeting
April 1 – Close Priest in Charge search
April – Vestry members will conduct remote interviews with candidates (Slack, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.)
May – In-person candidate interviews
June – Issue call for priest-in-charge
Due to varied circumstances, five of our twelve vestry members are coming off the vestry next month. (Under normal circumstances, it would be just two vestry members completing their terms.) As a result, we have five vacancies to the vestry that must be filled. This will be done during our Annual Parish Meeting on March 29.
The nomination period for candidates to the vestry is now open. If you feel called to help lead St. James into our next new chapter, please make this known to Fr. Andrew or to any vestry member. We welcome all qualified candidates.
Stay tuned, and please continue to pray for our priest-in-charge search.
Our search for a new priest-in-charge has officially begun! We spent the autumn of 2019 developing the parish profile and related material needed to initiate the process, all of which has now been submitted to and approved by Bishop Mark Edington this past week. The names of potential candidates are now being received, with the deadline date for applications being 1 April 2020.
We need your help in reaching potential candidates! Please share the parish profile with any ordained person whom you think might be good candidates and/or who may know of such. The profile is also available on the parish Website ( www.stjames.it). Anyone interested in applying for the position must follow the application process by submitting their materials to the Office of Transition Ministry, which oversees and manages this process for The Episcopal Church. Candidates referred directly to the parish will be directed to apply online with the OTM, or to contact The Venerable Walter Baer, Archdeacon to the Convocation of the Episcopal Church in Europe.
In addition, please pray daily the Prayer for St. James Church (see below update for prayer). Your prayers and support will be essential to a successful search for our next priest.
Prayer for St. James
Faithful and loving God,
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.
For questions or if interested, contact Elizabeth Chard, interim director at email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com 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
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