Army to bear Millennium Cross

  The Army is to play a major role in bringing the Millennium Cross to Westminster cathedral (see Millennium Cross for Westminster, ICN 4 July). The 15 metre (50 foot) high Millennium Cross is to be erected outside Westminster cathedral to mark the 2000 years of Christianity. The idea for the cross was the brainchild of the late Cardinal Hume. It will be dedicated on 29 November. Soldiers from the 39 Engineering Regiment, 48 Field Squadron (Air Support) are transporting the cross from Dewsbury in Yorkshire down to London on two 40 foot trailers. They will then assemble and erect it in front of the cathedral. Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Chris Rose said: "This is an interesting and unusual role for us, which demonstrates a wide range of our skills - particularly in the assembly and erection of the cross in a busy and confined area." Mgr George Stack, of Westminster cathedral, said: "The cross is a symbol of Christian unity, representing the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Free Churches. We are indebted to the Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Charles Guthrie for his help in enabling the cathedral to overcome a number of technical difficulties associated with the project." The designer Alan Dodd describes the cross as a dramatic red/brown in colour, standing on a three stepped base. Above the wide cross bar is a twisted and tortured scroll bearing Pilate's inscription. The cross is marked with the impression made by the nails and is shown after the Deposition, its emptiness representing the Resurrection.

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