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W&M committee announces cross to be displayed in prominent location

The William and Mary Committee on Religion at a Public University announced at a public meeting Monday its recommendations regarding the location of the Wren Cross inside the Wren Chapel.
The cross will be housed in a glass display case near the east door at the front of the chapel. The case will be in the area along the north wall and near the rail that separates the chancel from the pews. The display case, which is still under development, will be accompanied by a plaque commemorating the College’s Anglican roots and its historic connection to Bruton Parish Church.

“This location accomplishes our goal for the cross to be permanently displayed in a prominent and readily visible location within the Wren Chapel,” said Committee Co-Chair James Livingston, the Walter G. Mason Professor Emeritus of Religion at the College.

The location of the cross and display case was endorsed by President Gene R. Nichol and Michael K. Powell, Rector of the College. The committee co-chairs will continue working with Louise Kale, Executive Director of the Historic Campus, on the design of the case and the wording of the plaque. The case will be in place in the chapel as soon as practical, the committee co-chairs said.

“The location of the case and the plaque that will accompany it will remind us of the traditional importance of the cross to the College,” said Committee Co-Chair Alan J. Meese (’86), the Ball Professor of Law. “The cross remains available for altar use during appropriate religious services.”

Nichol announced in January that Livingston and Meese would co-chair the 14-person religion committee, which includes alumni, faculty, students, staff and friends of the College. The committee’s charge was to explore the role of religion at a public university, including the use of the College’s historic Wren Chapel.

The committee recommended last month that the cross should be placed in a glass case in a prominent location within the Wren Chapel. The Wren sacristy will also be available to house sacred objects of any religious tradition for use in worship and devotion by members of the College community.