Plans to build a giant cross in front of Westminster Cathedral have been unveiled. The 50-foot high steel cross, clad in rough timber and painted red, will look very much like one erected on rubble near the same site during the construction of the cathedral about 100 years ago. The idea for the project was Cardinal Hume's. Last January, speaking during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the Friends' Meeting House in Euston, attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders, the Cardinal said: "The Crib is more important than the Dome." A proposal for a large crib for London was considered but shelved. Later, the idea of creating a plain but very large cross was taken up to mark the Holy Year. The project was ecumenical from the beginning. Westminster Abbey and the Methodist Central Hall, together with all the churches on the Westminster Christian Council, have endorsed the cross. The cathedral administrator, Mgr George Stack, and Bishop Victor Guazzelli, who leads the Diocesan Millennium Team, together with the cathedral's former administrator Bishop O'Donoghue collaborated on the project. The scheme was approved by the cathedral architect and has received the support of Westminster Council and the nearby government offices, including the Ministry of Defence. The cross, which has been designed by Alan Dodd, is being made in Yorkshire. It will be put up in the First Sunday of Advent and will remain in Westminster for about two years. Afterwards it will be returned to Ampleforth - emphasising the links between Westminster and Ampleforth through their former Abbot and our former Archbishop and Cardinal. More than half the money needed for the Cross has already been raised. Just over 20,000 pounds is now required. If you would like to make a donation, please send a cheque, payable to Westminster Cathedral, to Fr Michael Seed, 47 Francis Street, Westminster SW1P 1QR. For more details visit the Cathedral website: www.westminstercathedral.org.uk.
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