Ponte Sant' Angelo Methodist Church
Who are we?
Ponte Santí Angelo (PSA) Methodist Church, Rome is an English speaking congregation and is a member of Churches Together in Rome, a fellowship of about a dozen English language congregations in Rome with various Protestant, Anglican and Catholic churches represented.
PSA is a Methodist congregation belonging to the Italian Methodist - Waldensian Church and is part of the Rome Methodist Circuit. The ministers, however, have been traditionally supplied by the British Methodist Conference as mission partners. Although we are Methodists, you do not have to be a Methodist to join us for worship. Everyone is welcome, whatever their background.
As you will quickly recognise, our congregation is very multicultural. At present approximately one third of us come from countries in Africa (predominantly West Africa), a third from the Philippines and other parts of Asia/Pacific region, and a third from the rest of the world, which includes people from the Americas and Caribbean and across Europe. We even have some folk who were born and bred in Rome!
History of the Church
The building was originally owned by the Friars of St. Celsus, but was bought by the Italian Free Church and dedicated as a protestant place of worship by Alessandro Gavazzi, Garibaldiís protestant chaplain, on 18th March 1877. At that time the building housed not only the worship sanctuary, but also a theological college, junior and infant schools and a library. Whilst Gavazzi ran the theological college, Ludovico Conti served as pastor to the congregation. The schools, which occupied parts of the building since sold off, attracted 3,521 pupils in 1904, but the junior school closed in 1907 and the infant school in 1912. In September of that same year the church itself also closed. These closures were as a result of rationalisations after the union of the Italian Free church with The Italian Methodist Church in 1905.
However, in 1919 the Methodist superintendent minister, an Englishman named the Rev Edgar Braford, decided to reopen the church on this strategic site. The church was later remodelled to its present layout in 1934 under the leadership of pastor Emanuele Sbaffi. Since 1955 the services have been in English to cater for the multinational anglophone community resident in Rome and visiting tourists. This year we celebrate our 60th anniversary with a variety of special services and projects.
What do we do?
Worship takes place here every Sunday at 10.30am. There is a Sunday School for young children and teenagers who leave us after a Bible reading and Word for All and blessing. Visiting young people are welcome to join in. Just leave with the others. Classes take place upstairs. During the summer months (June to September) there is no Sunday School.
Holy Communion is celebrated usually on the first Sunday of every month. Everyone who wishes to receive the bread and the wine (non-alcoholic red grape juice) is invited to do so. Children who normally receive in their home church are able to do so here, otherwise children come forward for a blessing. Please make it obvious if your child is wishing to receive the bread and wine.
Coffee and tea are served upstairs in the hall every Sunday after worship. Please do join us. There is no charge. A midweek bible study takes place on alternate Wednesdays and occasionally on Sundays after coffee for an hour. Please consult the weekly notice sheet for dates.
Baptisms and wedding blessings are by arrangement with the minister.
Church pot luck lunches are also held on a frequent basis during the year. Please join us if you happen to hit upon such a Sunday.
On afternoons during the academic year Italian language classes are held here which are run by the Servizio Migrante. We can put you in touch.
Every year we also support the Italian Bible Society. During Lent we support the Rice Bowl scheme organised by the Churches Together in Rome committee for different projects each year for the disadvantaged of the world. Your support for these and other projects would be most welcome.
We claim to be the Popeís nearest Protestant neighbours. We are located directly opposite the end of Ponte Santí Angelo across the bridge from the famous Castel Santí Angelo at Piazza di Ponte Santí Angelo 68. The side door to the church is found in Via del Banco di Santo Spirito 3 for access to the church rooms for midweek activities and also the manse on the fifth floor (Tel: 06 686 8314)