I hope this letter finds you well. It's been a week as I write this since we collectively experienced the coronation of our new monarch, an event steeped in profound symbolism and rich history. Whether we personally uphold the monarchy or envision a different political future, such as an independent republic for Wales, it is undeniable that the coronation ceremony embodies a universal aspect that crosses all boundaries - the Christian faith.
The coronation, tracing its roots back to the first known English coronation of King Ecgfrith in 973, is more than the ascension of a new monarch to the throne. It serves as a testament to our shared history and collective identity, reminding us of the values that have shaped us as a nation, regardless of our individual political views.
The symbols within the coronation are both intricate and meaningful. The monarch's anointing with holy oil, reminiscent of the biblical tradition of anointing kings, priests, and prophets, signifies their sanctification for the role they are about to undertake. The crowning, the sceptre, and the orb are all powerful symbols of authority and responsibility, underlining a commitment to uphold Christian virtues.
This ceremony places the Christian faith at the heart of our nation, a faith founded on the teachings of Jesus, emphasizing love, compassion, justice, and service to others. The Archbishop of Canterbury's central role and our own Archbishop’s Role in the ceremony echoes this spiritual dimension of the monarchy, reminding us that all authority ultimately comes from God, according to Christian belief.
Whether you are a regular churchgoer or not, or whether you advocate for a different political future, let us take this opportunity to reflect on the values that unite us. Let us celebrate the commencement of the King's reign as a shared cultural experience and use this occasion to reaffirm our commitment to the values that have brought us together as a community.
Fr. Paul Wheeler | Rector of Hope
Fr. Paul Wheeler