It took a while, but persistent hard work led in recent years by the Archdeacon of Italy and Malta, the Venerable Jonathan Boardman, finally resulted in the official recognition of the Church of England in Italian law. On Thursday 17 July, President Giorgio Napolitano signed a decree which gives legal recognition and personalità giuridica to the Chiesa d'Inghilterra. This is significant news for our Church and gives us a firm legal basis for our work and activity and opens up possibilities of further benefits within Italy itself.
I recall that my first visit to the Italy and Malta Archdeaconry Synod in 2003 had the question of the legal status of our Church on the agenda. In 2004 to 2005 I was the Acting Archdeacon of Italy and Malta (in addition to Suffragan Bishop) and remember explorations about how to carry forward this proposal. Intensive work began about 8 years ago, through a committee (pictured above) that included representative laity from across Italy, legal counsel and the UK ambassadors both to Italy and the Holy See. We congratulate the Archdeacon and his committee which have brought us to this day.
There are over 20 congregations of our Church in Italy, with several new communities emerging and at least 2 congregations which regularly worship in Italian. The oldest of our congregations, St George’s Venice, has a history going back 410 years.
|Archdeacon Jonathan Boardman (3rd from right)|