Welcome to St Mark’s Church, Florence, Italy

St Mark’s ‘English’ Church is an Anglican church in Florence, Italy. One of three worship centres that form a chaplaincy of the Church of England in the Diocese in Europe. We offer a unique venue for worship; weddings; opera; concerts; music and a wide range of artistic, literary and academic events for visitors and locals alike.

St Mark’s Florence

St Mark’s Church in Florence is one of three worship centres that form a chaplaincy of the Church of England in the Diocese in Europe, known as St Mark’s Florence with St Peter’s Siena.

We have been serving the people of Tuscany, and the many visitors to the area on our current Florence site, for over 132 years. With the Sunday Sung High Mass at the centre of its active liturgical life, St Mark’s also has an extensive music and cultural scene, with its own concert and Mass choirs, St Mark’s Opera, as well as many concerts performed by visiting choirs and musicians. To this is added a wide variety of other cultural events that bring people together in artistic, literary or academic endeavour.

Thank you for visiting our site and we look forward to welcoming you to our chaplaincy.

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Second Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 11: 1-10; Psalm 72; Romans 15: 4-13 and Gospel, Matthew 3: 1-12). Sermon by Reader Maria.

In some ways, life had been more comfortable, or maybe comforting, in the wilderness. There was a peaceful silence all around. On a clear night he could look up and wonder at the stars, calling them by the names they had worn in his part of the world for millennia: the Pleides, Orion and the Bear, the Pole star. Dress code was camel`s hair and a leather belt. No need to fret about trailing to a city market for food and hauling it home, either – you ate what the wilderness gave and were thankful. But there was always that niggling voice that there was more of a purpose to his life than that. He was to prepare the way for someone that God had been promising down the centuries. And that someone was his cousin Jesus.
So John comes out of his peaceful wilderness, to warn people to prepare for Jesus` arrival. And outside that peace, he is thrown back into a world of politics, power struggles and plutocrats; of freedom fighters like the Zealot group and wide boys like the tax collectors, who lived very comfortably, collaborating with the invaders while depriving ordinary folk of hard-earned cash. Meanwhile, the people at the top of the pile, are enjoying their scandalous liaisons, their dancing-girls and their banquets in honour of either dubious state visitors or daddies` little princesses. In the context of John the Baptist, we think specifically of Herod, but in the 2000 years since then we know of many others, who have fitted or are fitting the bill.
There are also the poor, the meek, the homeless, the lame, the blind, the deaf (and so many others who need help) but there are no social services or job creation schemes in place, to do anything about them, except to sigh and say that life is not fair.

So John stands there, on the banks of the Jordan, calling on the folk of his generation to repent and prepare for the arrival of their King.
Here, 2000 years on in time, we are still crying; whether it be shouting or weeping, in a different wilderness. Here we are in the (second) City of David, with its Patron Saint of this morning`s gospel – St John the Baptist. And what would San Giovanni Battista make of modern-day Firenze?
This is a wilderness of noise and turmoil: of traffic-jam car-horns and emergency sirens; of wheely-cases rattled over cobbles and Quadrifoglio lorries juggling skips. Pollution masks the ancient comfort of stars. Food seems plentiful, but is it safe or genetically modified, treated with bad chemicals or containing rogue antibiotics? The poor, of many lands, are still with us. Many hoped for work, but in the Italian recession, where are jobs for anyone? We ask ourselves, in the interests of peace, where can we go for an hour or two, to get away from it all?
Escaping to a quiet room, we switch on the computer – but, instead of peace we are bombarded by torrents of emails to be answered. Among them are the petitions to sign – our silent shouts in the virtual wilderness; attempts to make modern highways straighter – or to help point out that instead of riding down the highway, our world is slip-sliding away. In England they`ve held Children in Need for yet another year – and people have gifted millions to those they will never meet. Yet so often we prefer to ignore the prodigal sons and daughters who have had the courage to leave behind war, danger or starvation in order to seek a better, safer life – only to arrive in a place of recession, with no work to be found. Please, especially if you have ever experienced a time when you could not afford the price of a coffee yourself, get a take-away coffee or brioche for them; or, even, give them one of these pieces of paper, available here, in our church, telling them where they can get nourishing food for free.
As it says in Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Thinking of this, remember that John the Baptist was asking us to prepare the way for Jesus, before being arrested, beheaded; bowing out of the narrative. Meanwhile, Jesus, the branch from the stock of Jesse, first announced his earthly ministry in his home town with the following words. Like our Old Testament reading, they are also from Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord`s favour.
The helpless baby, whose birth we celebrate in 3 weeks time, needs every one of us to bring his hope to those around us.
Please feel welcome to comment on this post or to share it with others. Thank you. Picture (John the Baptist) courtesy of St Mark’s Artist in Residence, ©Maria Makepeace.
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Christmas Fair

December 2, 2016, 3:00pm - December 2, 2016, 6:00pm

All are welcome to the annual Harold Acton Library Christmas Fair. Tea and cakes will be served from 15:00 to 18:00. We have a delicious Fortnum & Mason food hamper to be won and you can also win a be...

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Online Giving


St Mark’s does not receive funding from the Church of England, the Diocese or the Italian Government. We rely solely on the kind giving of our members and donations from those who use our premises.

A suggested weekly offering of €10 is needed to maintain our provision. You may give online by visiting our donate page or in our weekly collection on Sunday.

Thank you for your support.

St Mark’s Blog

Events Calendar

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Mon 05

Concert: GamoEnsemble

December 5 @ 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Tue 06

Evening Prayer from Common Worship

December 6 @ 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Wed 07

Low Mass (Common Worship)

December 7 @ 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Weekly Pewsheet

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For services and what's on, please download our weekly pew sheet