Cross Will Return To Wren Chapel At College Of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA - In a statement released yesterday from President Gene Nichol of the historic College of William and Mary, the cross that stood at the altar in Wren Chapel without controversy for over 75 years will return to the altar. Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the College requesting that the cross remain in Wren Chapel instead of being delegated to a closet so it wouldn't offend non-Christians using the chapel.
President Nichol's statement acknowledges that "many alumni and friends of the College have urged, in the strongest terms, that the decision be reconsidered." Nichol now states that "we will commission a permanent plaque to commemorate the Chapel's origins as an Anglican place of worship and symbol of the Christian beginnings of the College....[I]n an effort to give further recognition to the heritage of the Chapel without substantially affecting its openness and accessibility for College use, I have asked that the altar cross be displayed throughout the day on Sundays with expanded hours. The cross will also continue to be in place on the altar when the Chapel is used for Christian religious services or when any individual requests its display for moments of quiet prayer and contemplation."
The College of William and Mary was founded as a private Anglican school for evangelization of Native Americans and the training of Christian workers. William and Mary is now a public college. Previously, it was the College's policy that any group using the chapel could ask that the cross be removed for their event, and the staff complied with the requests with no problems ever having been reported.
Returning the cross to Wren Chapel is a step in the right direction. The plaque commemorating the religious heritage of the school is a welcome addition to serve as a memorial to the religious history of the College of William and Mary.