Hugh Gibbons with Romero Cross
To commemorate 50 years since the founding of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Bracknell-based CAFOD Education Volunteer Hugh Gibbons has made a unique scaled-up version of the well-known Romero Cross.
Over seven foot high, the CAFOD Cross will eventually be placed outside St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in South Ascot. After being presented to parishioners last weekend, it is currently on show inside the church. Parish priest Fr Tom Taaffe suggested that parishioners visit and touch it as a sign of solidarity with the poor of the world.
Hugh says: “The Cross is a thank you to everyone in the area for their many years of support for CAFOD. It seemed to me that it would be good to have something public for the next 50 years. So I thought of a sort of wooden stained-glass window outside the church for all to see as they go in or pass by!”
Before being fixed in place outside in the autumn, the CAFOD Romero Cross will also be available to visit local schools and churches.
Hugh made the cross in his garage in Roman Hill. It is twenty times the size of the usual crosses hand-made and painted for CAFOD by artist Lazaro Rodriguez and his family in El Salvador (available from the CAFOD website).
With space to spare, Hugh added pictures of St Francis - in his role as patron saint of the environment - and of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Romero was Archbishop of El Salvador, acclaimed worldwide as a champion of social justice for the poor and oppressed. He was assassinated in 1980, and has since been held as an example by CAFOD and many other organisations and individuals. Romero is one of the 12 Martyrs of the 20th Century whose statues are in Westminster Abbey – so the cross will be available to visit local Anglican and well as Catholic churches and schools in the autumn before being fixed in place.
For more information see: http://www.just1.org.uk/stfrancisjusticeandpeace