Holy Cross Day – Wednesday 14 September

We now have the timings for our celebrations marking the bringing of the Holy Cross to Waltham in 1035.

At 2.00pm there will be a special service in the Abbey, to which the local schools have been invited, picture courtesy Maggie Radcliffealthough everyone is welcome.  At that service, the Rector of Waltham Abbey, the Rev’d Peter Smith, will tell the story of the legend of the Holy Cross of Waltham.

Then at 6.30pm, Anglo Saxons, (and all those who are fascinated by the history of England in the eleventh century), are invited to take part in a walk which will re-create the journey of the Holy Cross.  We will not be attempting to walk from Montacute where the Holy Cross was found, but we do think it important to cross the River Lea as Tovi and his companions would have done.  So we shall be gathering at the entrance to the Lee Valley White Water Centre, and will walk from there to the Abbey.

The Holy Cross of Waltham, said to have been black marble, will be represented by a large dark cross being loaned for the occasion by the Abbey Church.

Tovi was accompanied on the journey from Somerset by 66 people.   We want to have at least that number on the walk, so will welcome visitors who would like to take part in what will become an annual commemoration.   We would particularly like re-enactors and others who will wear medieval dress, but it is not essential.

At about 7.00pm, the bellringers of the Abbey Church will ring a Quarter Peal, and a Quarter Peal will be rung in Montacute at the same time.  In fact, we hope that one or two of the bellringers from Montacute will journey to Waltham Abbey for the ceremony.

When those taking part in the walk reach the Abbey, they are invited to enter the Church for a short service of pilgrimage based on what is believed would have taken place at places of medieval pilgrimage.

(Photograph of Abbey courtesy of Maggie Radcliffe)

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Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm  Comments (2)  

Celebrate Holy Cross Day at Waltham Abbey

Exciting news for all you 1066 and Anglo Saxon fans – the King Harold Day Society is promoting a new event in Waltham Abbey on 14 September this year, which we hope will become an annual date in the calendar. 

We are working with the Abbey Church and with Waltham Abbey Historical Society to put on     ………………..   

Holy Cross Day, to celebrate the day in about 1035 when Tovi the Proud, King Cnut’s Standard Bearer, brought the Holy Cross from Montacute to Waltham. 

So on Wednesday 14th September there will be a special service in the Abbey during which the story of the journey of the Holy Cross will be told.   Later there will be a procession from the western side of the River Lea, across the river, ending in the Abbey Churchyard.  This will represent the 66 Saxons who, according to the Waltham Chronicle, accompanied the Holy Cross on its journey to Waltham.   The procession will end at the eastern side of the Abbey in the spot where it is believed Tovi built his church to accommodate the Holy Cross, and there we will erect the cross we have brought from the other side of the River Lea. 

There will be a peal of bells from the Abbey Church, which will coincide with a similar peal at Montacute where they also celebrate Holy Cross Day. 

Watch this site for more details.

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm  Comments (3)