Old Gold

One aspect of the Gene Robinson story really interested me. It was the news that people around his diocese had been contributing gold jewellery to be melted down to make a pectoral cross – ie the cross which most Western bishops wear near their heart. Some divorcees had contributed wedding rings and there were some interesting stories being told by those who were donating the gold.

This story caught my eye because here in St Andrews diocese something similar happened over 100 years ago. The bishop of the time had many jewels and much gold given in order to create a jewel encrusted set of vestments, which are still in existance. The mitre in particular is splended, originally having some 365 Tay pearls. There is also a hand written note kept with the mitre which tells who gave which jewel. Fascinating social history and a custom which I had never heard of taking place anywhere else until now.

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