A former Cardigan Archdeacon has blessed a ceremonial silver cross which will be used in King Charles III’s coronation.

Andrew John, The Archbishop of Wales, blessed the Cross of Wales at a church service ahead of it being brought to London to be carried before the King at the head of the coronation procession.

Two shards of the True Cross, said to be the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, were given to Charles by Pope Francis to mark the royal occasion.

The small fragments have been incorporated into the Cross of Wales, which will be seen by millions as it is carried into Westminster Abbey on May 6.

Both pieces are shaped as crosses, one being 1cm in size and the other 5mm, and are set into the larger silver cross behind a rose crystal gemstone so they can only be viewed up close.

Archbishop Andrew, was ordained deacon in the Diocese of St David's and a priest in 1990, and until his election as Bishop of Bangor, all his ministry was in the Diocese of St David's.

Initially he was curate for Cardigan, Y Ferwig and Mwnt from 1989 to 1991, and was later vicar of Henfynyw with Aberaeron and Llanddewi Aberarth.

In 2006 he was appointed vicar of Pencarreg and Llanycrwys and the Archdeacon of Cardigan.

Tivyside Advertiser: Archbishop of Wales Andrew John with the Cross of WalesArchbishop of Wales Andrew John with the Cross of Wales (Image: Peter Powell/PA)

Archbishop Andrew blessed the cross during the service before around 200 parishioners and dignitaries at Holy Trinity Church in Llandudno.

“We are honoured that His Majesty has chosen to mark our centenary with a cross that is both beautiful and symbolic," he said.

“Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability.

“We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide Their Majesties into Westminster Abbey at the coronation service.”

The Cross of Wales was a gift from the King to the Church in Wales to celebrate its centenary and upon its return to Wales after the coronation.

The cross will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic churches in Wales.

Designer Michael Lloyd took two years to make the Cross of Wales, involving more than 217,000 hammer blows to chase out its design.

Crafted from recycled silver bullion, provided by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales, the cross also includes a shaft of Welsh windfall timber and a stand of Welsh slate.

Tivyside Advertiser: Archbishop of Wales Andrew John with the Cross of WalesArchbishop of Wales Andrew John with the Cross of Wales (Image: Peter Powell/ PA)

The silver elements of the cross bear a full hallmark, including the Royal Mark – a leopard’s head, which was applied by the King himself in November 2022 when visiting The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London.

Words from the last sermon of St David are inscribed on the back of the cross in Welsh, which read: “Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain”, translated as: “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”