The Cross of Wales will lead Coronation procession
Scroll down for photos of the blessing service
The Cross of Wales, a new processional cross presented by His Majesty King Charles III as a centenary gift to the Church in Wales, will lead the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.
In a significant ecumenical gesture, the Cross of Wales will incorporate a relic of the True Cross, the personal gift of Pope Francis to His Majesty The King to mark the Coronation.
Inscribed with words from St David’s last sermon, the Cross of Wales will be blessed by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno, today (April 19).
The gift of the cross was commissioned by His Majesty The King, as Prince of Wales, to celebrate the centenary of the Church in Wales, with the Goldsmiths’ Company delivering the design and production processes.
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. (Picture left by Richard Valencia)
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.
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.
Welcoming the gift on behalf of the Church in Wales, Archbishop Andrew said, “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.”
Dr Frances Parton, Deputy Curator of The Goldsmiths’ Company, who managed the commission said, “The Cross of Wales shows the relevance of traditional skills and craftsmanship in the modern world. Using the ancient craft of chasing silver, Michael Lloyd has created a beautiful object which combines a powerful message with a practical purpose. We are thrilled that the Cross will both feature in the Coronation and see regular use within the Church in Wales.”
Designer and maker, Michael Lloyd said, “This project started with a love of the material, its malleability, its potential for expression. The commission has allowed me to delve into the previous 1,000 years of faith and history. Now, with more than 267 thousand hammer blows, the cross has emerged from the inanimate sheets of silver, and I am delighted it will be used as part of the Coronation Service on 6th May.”
“Inspired by medieval Welsh art and design, The Cross of Wales combines historical reference with the very best contemporary craftsmanship”, said Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection. “It has been a unique and interesting project which we have been delighted to consult upon.”
The cross will be blessed by Archbishop Andrew at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno on April 19. The service, which is public, begins at 9am, at the start of the Church’s Governing Body meeting.
Thanks to Dave Custance for the following photos of the Cross of Wales at the blessing service