The Roman Catholic Church lent a set of vestments to the Archbishop of Canterbury and senior clergy for the Coronation of King Charles III.
The King’s Coronation was watched by 20 million people in Britain and millions more around the world. While Archbishop Welby led the service and crowned King Charles, he was joined by several senior bishops including the Bishops of London, Durham, Bath and Wells and Chelmsford.
The Daily Mail reported that as the countdown to the Coronation began, it dawned on Archbishop Most Rev Justin Welby that their vestments weren’t equal to the splendour of the occasion.
This resulted in a decision which would have been unthinkable at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, when the gulf between the established church and other denominations — especially Catholics — was unbridgeable.
‘They decided that the only solution was to approach the Catholic Church and ask to borrow from the Cardinal’s vestment wardrobe at [Roman Catholic] Westminster Cathedral,’ a source told the Daily Mail.
A Lambeth Palace spokesman explained: “Only two historic clergy vestments exist, both of which would have needed expensive refurbishment and adaptation. A decision was taken by the bishops involved that, in the current climate, it was not appropriate for the C of E to commission new vestments. Instead, it was decided that a matching set would be borrowed. To demonstrate the strong ecumenical links between the C of E and the Roman Catholic Church, the Archbishop wrote to Cardinal Vincent Nichols”.
The Roman Catholic Church confirmed: “We were asked to provide a set of ten matching vestments. We were happy to support the C of E on such a special day”.
(Picture Courtesy: PA Wire)