All Saints' Marseille with Aix-en-Provence
and the Luberon

Brief history

There has been an Anglican presence in Marseille since 1848, when an "English Church" was established in a rented upper room at 100 rue Sylvabelle (in the neighbouring street).

The present church of All Saints' in the rue de Belloi was built in 1903-1904.

The 1902 Baedeker guide book to Southern France describes Marseille as "the principal seaport and second city of France, and the depot of a brisk maritime traffic with the East, Italy and Africa".

Indeed the church registers of the time refer principally to those working in the port, maritime agencies and insurance, and the crews and passengers of ships.

But with the eventual advent of air travel - and the subsequent decline of long sea voyages - the port (and by extension the Anglican Church) in Marseille gradually lost much of its former importance.

Whereas the Church consisted previously of mainly English worshippers, it has now become, although reduced in numbers, international and more representative of the world-wide Anglican Communion. Successive chaplains and parishioners have ministered to seafarers and their families, instigating a Sailors' Reading Room (1866) which developed into a Seamen's Club (1878), establishing a small school where sailors' families could be educated before the advent of state schools, and assisting with a Seamen's Hospital (est. 1927). You can find out much more information in this book: All Saints and Sailors - A Brief History of the "English Church" in Marseille available for 8 euros at the Church. (In English or in French).

All Saints' continues this work today, in conjunction with the
Association Marseillaise d'Accueil des Marins (AMAM).