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Church of England in Italy signs Treaty with Republic of Italy

 

We are delighted to announce that on 26th of March 2019 at Palazzo Chigi the Treaty (Intesa) between the Republic of Italy and the Associazione Chiesa d’Inghilterra “ACDI” (which represents the Church of England in Italy) was signed.

The Revd Vickie Sims, as President of the Associazione Chiesa d’Inghilterra, signed on behalf of the Church of England in Italy with the Undersecretary of State On. Giancarlo Giorgetti, representing the Italian Government and the Prime Minister On. Giuseppe Conte.

This is an immensely important milestone towards the full legal recognition of the chaplaincies and congregations in Italy.

All the members of ACDI, i.e. chaplaincies and congregations in Italy of the Archdeaconry of Italy and Malta, Diocese in Europe, Church of England, will benefit from what is agreed in the Treaty (Intesa). Such benefits are numerous and include the full legal recognition by the Republic of Italy of the Confessione Anglicana of the Church of England; the Treaty will also allow chaplains to access the Italian clergy pension scheme, permit foreign clergy to apply for a “religious visa” to live in Italy, recognise legally weddings celebrated according to the Anglican rite, consent clergy to visit officially in prisons and hospitals, and other rights for Anglican workers, students, soldiers, charities and cemeteries.

Furthermore, donations made from Italian resident tax payers to the Associazione Chiesa d’Inghilterra (or to its member churches) may be deducted from the tax payers’ taxes. The Treaty also admits ACDI to become part of the 8 per mille scheme which sees “tax rebates” from Italian resident tax payers apportioned out to the various recognised churches in Italy now including the Church of England.

The Treaty was signed at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, in the presence of senior representatives:

  • H.E. Jill Morris CMG, British Ambassador to the Republic of Italy and the Republic of San Marino and Board Member of ACDI;
  • The Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes, Bishop of the Diocese in Europe, Church of England;
  • The Very Revd Dr John Shepherd, Interim Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and Board Member of ACDI;
  • Paolo Coniglio, Secretary General and Board Member of ACDI;
  • Uff. Giampaolo Grazian, Vice-President and Board Member of ACDI;
  • ssa Wendy Wyver, Political Counsellor at the British Embassy in Rome;
  • Gerardo Kaiser, Senior Political Analyst at the British Embassy in Rome;
  • The Revd Canon Jonathan Boardman, founder member of ACDI;
  • Mrs Sandra Seagram Annovazzi, founder Member of ACDI;
  • Salvatore Bordonali, Professor of Ecclesiastical Law from the University of Palermo Italy;
  • Roberto Chieppa, Segretario Generale della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana, and;
  • ssa Anna Nardini, Consigliere alla Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana.

The signing ceremony also served as an occasion to offer our deep thanks to the those, who over the past thirteen years, gave freely and generously of their professional time and talent.

We also thank all those members of the Italian government who guided us in this long and complex journey. Further steps do remain, including the passing of the appropriate bill in the Italian Parliament.

The signing ceremony on Tuesday 26th of March 2019 was a ‘preceremony’ which will culminate in the signing of the final Treaty by the Italian Prime Minister and the President of ACDI. We continue to work towards that goal.

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