A new Cross of Wales will lead the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on 6 May. The Cross was presented by King Charles III as a centenary gift to the Church in Wales.
The Cross of Wales will incorporate a relic of the True Cross, a personal gift of Pope Francis to the King to mark the Coronation. The two small wooden shards are said to be from the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
It's being hailed as a significant ecumenical gesture and has been blessed by the Archbishop of Wales at a special service at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno.
Words from the last sermon of St David are chased on the back of the Cross in Welsh: “Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain”, which translates as: “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”
The Cross has been designed and made by master silversmith Michael Lloyd, in consultation with the Royal Collection. It is crafted from recycled silver bullion, provided by the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, a shaft of Welsh windfall timber and a stand of Welsh slate.
Speaking to Premier, the Archbishop of Wales, Most Rev Andrew John said :
“The Cross reminds us of what is most important in life. So not just for the people of the church in Wales, but for the whole of Wales to have something like this at the heart of the coronation, is really exciting.
We are honoured that His Majesty has chosen to mark our centenary with a cross that is both beautiful and symbolic. Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability. We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide Their Majesties into Westminster Abbey at the Coronation Service.”
Speaking on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in Wales, the Archbishop of Cardiff and Bishop of Menevia, Mark O’Toole, said :
“With a sense of deep joy we embrace this Cross, kindly given by King Charles, and containing a relic of the True Cross, generously gifted by the Holy See. It is not only a sign of the deep Christian roots of our nation but will, I am sure, encourage us all to model our lives on the love given by our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We look forward to honouring it, not only in the various celebrations that are planned, but also in the dignified setting in which it will find a permanent home.”
The cross will be officially received by the Church in Wales at a service to follow the Coronation and its use going forward will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic Churches in Wales.