Pope Francis has gifted fragments believed to be from the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified to form part of a new processional cross which will be used at the coronation of Britain’s King Charles next month.
The new cross, made from recycled silver along with Welsh slate and reclaimed wood, was a gift from the king to the Church in Wales to mark its centenary in 2020. It will lead the coronation procession at Westminster Abbey in London on May 6.
It features two small shards from the relic donated by the pope which have been shaped into a cross behind a rose crystal gemstone.
“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,” the Church in Wales, a branch of the Anglican Church, said in a statement.
After the coronation, the cross will be shared between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Wales.