Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Policy On William & Mary Wren Chapel Cross Changed Again

Officials at the College of William and Mary are making a new attempt to resolve the bitter dispute over whether an historic cross will continue to be displayed in the state university's Wren Chapel. President Gene Nichol set off a storm of controversy when, in order to make the chapel more inviting to students of all religious faiths, he ordered the table cross to be removed from permanent display and-- under the most recent revision of the policy-- to be displayed only on Sundays or during Christian worship services. (See prior posting.) One donor revoked a $10 million pledge to the University in protest. Yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that now President Nichol has endorsed the recommendation of a special study committee that he appointed. The Wren cross will now be permanently displayed in the chapel, but in a glass case with a plaque explaining the college's Anglican roots and its historic connection to Bruton Parish Church. Sacred objects of other religious traditions used by the campus community will also be able to be stored in the chapel. The Washington Times says that college officials hope this compromise will end the dispute.