to Bishop David's blog. Here you can find news, information, articles and pictures about the Church of England Diocese in Europe. We have over 300 congregations or worship centres serving Anglican and (mostly) English-speaking people in Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Russia and some central Asian countries.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Thanksgiving offered for 55 years of service to the Church

On 8 July I was privileged to be part of a memorial service for Janet Anderson, one time organist, music director and long time member of the Church of the Ascension Cadenabbia, who had served this congregation for 55 years - a remarkable stretch of voluntary service to the Church. 

The late Janet Anderson with a visiting organist
Janet was a tireless worker for this parish and in particular was keen to keep its profile visible which she did through bringing musicians and choirs to perform in the beautiful building, which also has a remarkable acoustic.

The Church of the Ascension in Cadenabbia is a gem of a church building, on the edge of Lake Como, in the beautiful area of the Italian Lake District. Worship and community fellowship has been offered to English-speaking visitors and residents since the 1880s. The Ven. Vickie Sims, the Chaplain of Milan, gives general oversight to the congregation, but its day to day life during the "season" which lasts from Easter to the end of October, is provided by locum clergy. The present locum priest, Fr Roger Williams, has been gently guiding the regular members towards a new and confident future, through helping to organise a local church council, supporting the local churchwardens, and working with them in planning the programme of worship and community life over the season. Fr Roger and his wife Enid come from Australia. The parishioners are looking forward to their first parish retreat scheduled for this October.

Besides the memorial service for Janet I was able to preside and preach at the regular Sunday eucharist, which is well attended by the many visitors to the lakes. The Church of the Ascension has an important ministry welcoming people from around the world, offering them a place of spiritual nurture and providing a time of refreshment (some wine and soft drinks are always available after the Sunday mass), conversation and friendship.

Fr Roger greets visitors after the Sunday eucharist
Two mosaics from the church exterior

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Giampaolo Pancetti, Deacon in the Church of God

On Sunday 1 July in St Mark's English Church in Florence, an historic ordination was held. Giampaolo Pancetti was ordained deacon in a bilingual English/Italian service. Deacon Giampaolo will serve as assistant curate in St Mark's Florence, which includes the congregations of St Peter's Siena, and Holy Cross, Bologna. Archdeacon Vickie Sims of Italy and Malta presented the candidate, Registrar Aiden Hargreaves Smith took the oaths and Mother Teodora Tosatti preached the homily at the ordination mass.

Deacon Giampaolo comes from the former Old Catholic community in Italy. The Bonn Agreement of 1931 brought Old Catholics and Anglicans into full communion, based on agreement on the sacraments, ordained ministry and ‘all the essentials of the Christian faith’. In 2012 the Old Catholic community in Florence (along with Old Catholic communities elsewhere in Italy) became part of the Church of England, following the recommendation and consent of the Old Catholic Bishop of Switzerland under whose oversight these communities were.  We rejoice that he brings the gifts and treasures of that tradition into the Church of England to enrich our worship and prayer life, our commitment to witness to the Gospel and in our service to the world.

The Italian language community which is part of St Mark's has as its patron San Vincente di Lerins, the 5th century Gaulish monk who lived in the south of France, and the author of a famous guideline to help the Church differentiate between true and false teaching: "that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. (Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est).

We welcome Giampaolo to the Diocesan clergy, and wish him every blessing in the upcoming years of post-ordination training.

Archdeacon and new Deacon