All are welcome to take a full and active part in our worship and Church services throughout the Chaplaincy, even if you are not a member of the Church of England or an Anglican Church elsewhere in the world. The spiritual path that has led you here is one that we value. If you feel it is the right thing to do, then you are most welcome to receive Holy Communion in any of our Eucharistic services too. St Mark’s offers a number of additional services to mark the important moments in our lives.
We are not baptised as ‘Church of England’, ‘Roman Catholic’, ‘Methodist’ etc. We are baptised as Christians (this is why it is often referred to by English-speakers as being ‘christened’). The Rite of Baptism affords a spiritual opportunity and a means of God’s Grace that incorporates us into the living Body of Christ, his Church, and also into its mission throughout the world.
Normally, in the Anglican tradition, people are baptised as infants, but the Sacrament can be received at any age. If an adult is being baptised, it is usual for this to be done at the same time as being ‘confirmed’ by the Bishop. This is because the individual is mature enough in faith to make the commitments personally that would have been made on their behalf by their godparents as an infant.
At St Mark’s, baptisms are arranged in line with requests as far as possible. They usually take place during the main Sunday Sung High Mass, when the Christian community welcomes a new member into Christ’s family.
An Italian Distinctive Deacon can provide assistance for a Baptism celebrated in Italian or in both English/Italian languages.
For more detail of the service and baptism itself, please see the Church of England website here.
Confirmation is a big personal step in life. In the Anglican tradition – as in all other Churches – there comes a point in life when we are mature enough in faith and understanding, to be able to make a commitment to Christ on our own behalf. No one is born a Christian, at least in an earthly sense, but individuals choose to commit their lives to Christ and to follow Him. That grace is celebrated through the service of confirmation and is conducted by a Bishop of the Church.
Those who come from other churches and who wish to be regular members of the Anglican church, can also be ‘received’ by the Bishop into the Anglican church’s fellowship during the confirmation service. This is because the commitment already made to Christ is honoured and it is recognised that this is simply a new chapter in their ongoing life in Christ. Such people are also welcome to be confirmed if that is their wish.
All candidates are expected to attend a one-day course (to help those who live at distance from our churches) that is designed to give a full and clear understanding of the faith to which we are called. Attendance at this day-course does not constitute an obligation to be confirmed and it is open to all those who are enquiring about the Christian faith generally.
Please speak to the Chaplain or Administrator if you, or your children, are interested in Confirmation – the dates of courses and services of confirmation are set each year according to the Bishop’s availability and demand. There are no age limits (young or old; the issue is maturity and the ability to make a decision for oneself) and if you are not baptised, (or are unsure), that can be made a part of the confirmation service as well.
Preparation for the Confirmation can be done in English and in Italian too, thanks to an Italian Deacon.
Funerals and Memorial Services
‘In the midst of life, we are in death, O Lord’ as the Psalmist sings. Funerals and memorial services provide the opportunity for us to grieve for those we have loved, but most of all to give thanks and praise to God for those whom we no longer see.
Our Chaplaincy is here primarily to support and help you if you are in this situation. The chaplain will provide pastoral support and will help you to arrange a funeral or memorial service. Our organist and choir are available to provide music for these services, helping to make them as fitting a tribute to your loved ones as possible. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.
An expression of our being loved by God in Christ is that we share that love with all others and this is the ‘driving force’ behind the Church’s mission in the world.
The Chaplaincy encourages a caring and nurturing community in which all can feel supported and, knowing that each one of us is loved by God, can grow in grace. Pastoral care is therefore not simply about ‘being in need’. It is about our on-going commitment to God, expressed in our love for others.
Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:31). This means, too, that we ourselves should be open to being cared for, in recognition of our own needs as well as those of others. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Chaplaincy team if you – or someone you know – is in difficulty or needs spiritual guidance. We also offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) by arrangement.
The British Relief Fund can also provide practical help for British nationals who find themselves in difficult circumstances. The Chaplain can assess and recommend financial assistance. All, and any such enquiries, will be treated in strictest confidence.