Waltham Abbey’s Holy Cross Day procession

This Wednesday 14 September is Holy Cross Day which has special meaning in Waltham Abbey.

The church there was once famous for its ‘miraculous’ cross known to King Harold who was defeated at the Battle of Hastings.

The cross was ‘miraculous’ because having been found in Somerset it was loaded on to a cart whose oxen refused to move until the word “Waltham” had been uttered.

The cart arrived in Waltham where the black cross was placed in the church which was later enlarged to be today’s abbey church.

Wednesday will see a procession with a cross from the Olympic white water centre to the abbey church.

This will commemorate that bringing of the miraculous Holy Cross from Montacute in Somerset to Waltham by Tovi the Proud in 1035.

The procession starts at 6.30pm and on arrival at 7pm a quarter peal of bells will be rung simultaneously at the Abbey Church and St Catherine’s Church at Montacute in Somerset.

There is talk of some participants wearing costume. Whether they do or not this is the start of what within a decade may have become an annual custom.

One thought on “Waltham Abbey’s Holy Cross Day procession

  1. Tricia Gurnett, one of organizers of Holy Cross Day

    Thanks for this very nice piece on Holy Cross Day at Waltham Abbey. It was a huge success, with a packed Abbey for the service, a wonderful quarter peal of bells, and the procession was amazing. It would back along the streets from the Abbey. We wanted 66 people, and stopped counting when we got to 70, but there must have been over 400 there. A great day, and it will now become part of the town’s annual calendar. So, see you all on Friday 14 September 2012.

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