Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Return of the native

Before Christmas we took possession once again of “our” tenth century standing stone which has been cleaned and re-joined by masons working for CADW (for any readers over the border, the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage.) The precise origins of the stone are unclear as the experts assure us it displays Celtic, Saxon and even Coptic influences in its iconography.
The reverse of the cross shows at its base a depiction of the empty tomb with either angels or sleeping soldiers on either side.
It was rediscovered, broken in two, in one of the nave walls during the 19th century restoration & enlargement of the Church building. I like to think (although this may be wishful thinking) that it may have been placed there to preserve it from further desecration in the Reformation period. It has been rejoined in such a way as not to disguise the original break, but it now stands in one piece at the back of the Lady Chapel, near the font. Perhaps, and again I’m probably being fanciful, this could be a parable for our own future as Anglican Catholics, reunited again to our Mother Church after centuries of division.
Above are some photographs of the stone (taken by Father Mark) in its temporary setting; some of the decoration is clearly visible.

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