Cross of Wales: King’s gift to Church to be officially received
The Cross of Wales, a new processional cross presented by His Majesty King Charles as a centenary gift to the Church in Wales, will be officially presented to the Church this week (Jan 25).
The Cross, which led the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on May 6, includes a relic of the True Cross, given to the King by Pope Francis to mark the Coronation.
Since the Coronation the Cross has been in the care of the Goldsmiths’ Company, who led on its commissioning and have displayed it at Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London. It will be presented to the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, by the Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Professor Charles Mackworth-Young, at a short ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall on January 25. The former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack, will also be a guest.
Welsh love songs will be played during the ceremony by the Royal harpist, Alis Huws, as January 25 is also St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers.
The Cross will remind us all of the heart of our faith.
On its return to Wales, the Cross of Wales will initially be displayed at St Deiniol’s Cathedral, Bangor, the seat of the current Archbishop of Wales, before beginning a tour around all the Welsh cathedrals with the aim of giving everyone an opportunity to see it. Its use going forward will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic Churches in Wales.
Archbishop Andrew says, “The Cross of Wales is a hugely significant ecumenical symbol. Taking its inspiration from the earliest roots of our Christian history, and inscribed in Welsh with the words of St David, the Cross will remind us all of the heart of our faith. It not only provides a focus of unity across our different traditions, but will also be a lasting sign of The King’s respect and affection for Wales.”
Professor Charles Mackworth-Young, Prime Warden (Chairman-equivalent) of the Goldsmiths’ Company, says, “The Cross of Wales shows not only the relevance of traditional skills and craftsmanship in the modern world, but also the enduring nature of beautifully made objects, with practical purpose. We were thrilled to see the Cross lead the arrival of His Majesty the King at the Coronation and are delighted that it will see service in the Church in Wales for generations to come.”
Archbishop Mark says, “I am delighted that the Cross of Wales is coming ‘home’. It is a precious gift to the Welsh people from His Majesty King Charles, and especially so as it contains a relic of the True Cross, generously gifted by Pope Francis. 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 the various celebrations that will take place around it, being able to honour it in the dignified setting in which it will find a permanent home among us.”
Designed and made by master silversmith Michael Lloyd, in consultation with the Royal Collection, the Cross of Wales 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. 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.”
In compliance with the Hallmarking Act, the silver elements of the Cross bear a full hallmark (of the London Assay Office), including the Royal Mark (leopard’s head) which was applied by The King himself in November 2022 when visiting The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London.