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Abbey to receive giant cross in memory of cardinal

The largest cross in Britain, which has stood outside Westminster Cathedral since December 2000, has been moved to a remote monastery in honour of the late Cardinal Basil Hume.

Known as the Millennium Cross, the 13 metre high, four-and-a-half tonne structure was the idea of the late cardinal, who was leader of Catholics in England and Wales.

It arrived yesterday at the Benedictine monastery of Ampleforth Abbey in north Yorkshire where Cardinal Hume was a monk and then Abbot from 1963 to 1976.

He was also a pupil and then housemaster at Ampleforth, the top Catholic boys' school attached to the Abbey and run by the Benedictines.

The cross was airlifted by an RAF Chinook helicopter into position outside the abbey on Monday afternoon.

Ampleforth Abbot, the Rt Rev Timothy Wright said: "The cross is being erected here in memory of Cardinal Basil who became a figure of humility in high office that endeared him to the whole population.

"The community has a particular stake in his commemoration and an important part of the reasoning behind siting the cross so prominently has been to give expression to the strong sense felt by people in the locality that this exceptional man belonged to each of us in a personal way."

Ampleforth Abbey


18 Jun 2002