Cross Returns to Chapel -- But Not on the Altar

March 7, 2007

Author: Fredrick Kunkle

Source: The Washington Post

The College of William and Mary's president and board agreed yesterday to restore the altar cross to permanent display in historic Wren Chapel to quell a controversy that began with its removal in the fall.

Under a compromise recommended by a committee of students, alumni and faculty, the 18-inch cross will be placed in a glass case in a "prominent, readily visible" location in the chapel, according to a statement by President Gene R. Nichol and the board of visitors. It will not be on the altar, Nichol said.

The display will be accompanied by a plaque explaining the college's origins as a training ground for Anglican clergy and its long ties to nearby Bruton Parish Church.

Wren Chapel's sacristy will also be available to house sacred objects of any religion, and the chapel will continue to serve as a place of worship and a site for the college's "most solemn occasions," the officials said.