Friday, 16 May 2008

The Millennium Cross

The Millennium Cross was erected in the Piazza to mark the Holy year 2000, as a visible proclamation of our Christian faith. Many Christians of all denominations contributed to it - most notably Her Majesty the Queen.

It was unveiled at a magnificent ceremony attended by Church leaders, and Prince Andrew. For many people, it also served as a memorial to the lately deceased Cardinal Basil Hume.

The cross was a striking image from Victoria Street; the Cathedral does not reveal its identity easily to unsuspecting passers-by, and it provoked much interest and comment.

The cross was removed at the end of the year and taken (by helicopter) to Ampleforth Abbey in Yorkshire where - minus titulus - it stands as a memorial to Cardinal Hume.


Anonymous said...

I think that in this secular and humanist society it also stood as the only visible memorial that I can think of of the birth of Christ which the Millenium should have signified.

Anonymous said...

I remember being saddened by seeing several young people sitting on the steps beneath the cross eating their sandwiches. I am afraid the significance of the Cross appeared to be lost on them - it was just another useful place to sit.

Anonymous said...


If you go to many English market towns you will still find medieval market crosses raised on raked steps that are also seats. There is nothing intrinsically irreverent in doing so. You will also find standing crosses with seats at their base on the pilgrimage routes to Compostela. They were designed to give people a chance to rest.