KING CHARLES III has gifted the Church in Wales with a stunning new processional cross, named the Cross of Wales, to commemorate the church’s centenary. The cross is set to lead the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on May 6, in an ecumenical gesture that is sure to inspire awe.
The cross itself is a work of art, designed and crafted by master silversmith Michael Lloyd in consultation with the Royal Collection. It is made from recycled silver bullion, a shaft of Welsh windfall timber, and a stand of Welsh slate, a beautiful and sustainable tribute to Welsh heritage and resources.
To mark the coronation, Pope Francis generously gifted the King a relic of the True Cross, which was incorporated into the Cross of Wales. The back of the cross bears words from St David’s last sermon in Welsh, which translates to “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”
The Cross of Wales was blessed by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno, on April 19, in a beautiful ceremony that honoured both the church’s centenary and the cross itself.
The cross will be officially received by the Church in Wales at a service following the coronation. Its use will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic churches in Wales, a symbol of unity and cooperation between the two faiths.
Archbishop Andrew expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Church in Wales, stating that “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.”
The Archbishop of Cardiff and Bishop of Menevia, Mark O’Toole, also expressed deep joy at the gift on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in Wales, saying, “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.”
Overall, the Cross of Wales is a magnificent gift that will inspire and unite the people of Wales and beyond for generations to come.
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