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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Fifth Sunday after Trinity (1 Kings 19: 15-16, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5: 1, 13-25 and Gospel, Luke 9: 51-62). Sermon by Reader Maria.

“Foxes have their holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Lk 9: 58).
We are living in a time where many people are asking themselves and others where they belong. And to misquote a Paul Simon song:
“It`s not just UK and it`s not just EU,
this is all around the world”
A case in point: nipping into Carrefour a week ago, when the European football was in full flow, I noticed a group of 4 black men at the cash out, one with a six-pack of Birra Moretti. Their intention was most likely to go to one of their homes, switch on the TV and enjoy a nice, peaceful afternoon, watching the football. Another of them, however, had been in dispute with the man on the checkout about the change he had received. While they waited for the manager to come along and resolve things, an older woman decided to intervene….
“Why don`t you go back to where you came from?” she asked them, (with an attitude that suggested that they didn`t belong in her city.
“But I`m an Italian” one of the men replied.
Case 2. The following day, being Sunday, I was here at St Mark`s, and an American visitor asked me “Where are you from?” As I was handing out books at the time, it seemed a daft question to me. “I`m from here. I live in Florence”
“Yes, but where are you from originally?”
That is rather more complicated. My father was English and my mother Italian. For 7 of the 9 months before I was born, I resided in Venice but then, for the last 2 months, and for my birth, I was in N.E. England – seven weeks and four days before the Italian Constitution. But, although I am in reality dual national, in the eyes of the law it is impossible, because I pre-date the Constitution!
Suffice it to say that the 21st century moves on relentlessly. The star that such questions are attempting to define and steer us by is long gone. None of us can go back to places that no longer exist until someone invents a time machine. Even then, we would just end up being babies all over again None of us can turn back the clock. We are, all of us, complex citizens of a rapidly changing world. A world that some human beings are doing their darndest to destroy; while others are doing their best to sustain, heal and restore it.
All we can say is that we are here, now, today, every complex one of us. We are all God`s children. And we are here this morning for the Baptism of little Florence - welcoming her into God`s family. We are told:
“Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God, which continues for the rest of our lives; the first step in response to God`s love. For all involved it is a joyful moment, when we rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ….
“The service paints many vivid pictures of what happens on the Christian way. There is the sign of the cross, the badge of faith in the Christian journey, which reminds us of Christ`s death for us. Our “drowning” in the water of baptism, where we believe we die to sin and are raised to new life, unites us to Christ`s dying and rising. Water is also a sign of new life, as we are born again by water and the Spirit, as Jesus was at his baptism. And as a sign of that new life, there is a lighted candle, a picture of the light of Christ conquering the darkness of evil.”
Obvious in this comment on the symbolism connected with baptism is the idea of life as a journey, a pathway. We are reminded of Jesus` own baptism, in the River Jordan, by his cousin, John the Baptist, (whom the city of Florence celebrated on Friday along their own river, the Arno, wonderfully lit up by fireworks).
But where did Jesus go after his baptism? Into the desert first of all. For three years until his crucifixion, although “foxes have their holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”.
Where did Jesus belong? For the 33 years of his earthly ministry he belonged on earth. But – change the tense to accommodate past, present future and all eternity – Jesus belongs everywhere and in all times and even beyond the limiting dimension of time. Yet, during his earthly ministry, many human beings scorned, rejected and bayed for the death of the “Word made flesh”; our God who became human. Because he became human, he can understand our joys and griefs – the highs and lows of human emotions. He can love and understand everyone of us. Through his death and resurrection and through our baptism, he gives us the chance to be dual nationals – both of now and of the world to come.
All of us have times of feeling confused, lost, unwanted, misunderstood; times of feeling that we belong nowhere. I know, in my personal background that there are times when the only place I can say I truly belong is the country with the invisible mark of the cross as its Carta d`Identita`.

Please feel free to comment or to share this post. We will answer any questions as fully as possible. Thank you. Picture courtesy of St Mark’s Artist in Residence, ©Maria Makepeace.
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A personal statement from Fr William on the Brexit decision: "You can choose your friends, but not your family. We must now look to how we can rebuild and honour our deep and historic relationships with our European family, of which we have always, and will continue, to be a significant part". ... See MoreSee Less

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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.

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Events Calendar

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Tue 28

Evening Prayer from Common Worship

June 28 @ 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Wed 29

Low Mass (Common Worship)

June 29 @ 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Thu 30

Contemporary Worship

June 30 @ 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

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