The Cross of Hope which stands in the parkland to the north of the house is a both piece of art, and a focus for prayer and contemplation. It came about because the cross which originally stood in the north park was deteriorating and needed to be replaced.
It is also a testament to the generosity of people who gave freely of their time and skills. They felt inspired by the transformation of the traditional image as one of suffering and death, to one of hope and life.
Lya Vollering, a lay member of the community, explains her inspiration for the design was to have a cross that not only showed the crucifixion, but also pointed to the resurrection. “The cross not only reflects suffering, but also resurrection, you need both to understand what Jesus did for us. Our desire was to see that reflected in the cross.”
Because the figure of Jesus is cut out of the wood, and the cross is topped with heavy glass, Lya needed help to find a way to make the finished piece strong enough to bear the weight.
Then she happened to meet Bob English, who works in both steel and wood, and he introduced her to Rena Holford, who works in glass. Bob devised a way to brace the wood to support the beautiful disc of recycled glass made by Rena. They were not alone: the project relied on many others who together gave their time freely, and their work is a daily reminder of their efforts.
For some who see it, the Cross of Hope has a deeply personal meaning. Margaret McCann, one of the team involved in the project describes it this way:
Stat crux dum volvitur orbis (the cross remains standing while the world goes round)
“As I look at the glass orb, reminiscent of a picture of the earth from space, with the colours of sea, sky, mountains, desert and vegetation especially when viewed against blue sky with moving clouds, I am reminded of these words: the Carthusians’ motto. The glass orb sometimes seems to be spinning round!”