Re-dedication of the Shrine of St David, 1 March 2012
The restored Shrine of St David was unveiled and re-dedicated by The Right Reverend Wyn Evans, Bishop of St Davids, at a Choral Eucharist on St David's Day 2012.
The Dean of St Davids, The Very Reverend Jonathan Lean, in his sermon said: 'This shrine honours St David and his life and let us remember his last words to his followers: "Be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things" and let us pray that today will mark the beginning of our great mission to turn visitors into pilgrims.'
Sarah Crisp painted and gilded the five icons which have been installed to sit within the exisiting niches of the restored shrine.
The icons, made in egg tempera on gesso, depict St David and other saints associated with the cathedral and the local area.
The three icons at the front of shrine depict from left to right:
St Patrick, St David and St Andrew.
At the rear of the shrine are two further icons which depict the mother of David St Non, the mother of David, and St Justinian who was a contemporary of David.
The icons are painted on lime wood panels and combine the styles of classic Byzantine with early Italian works.
Traditional paint and techniques were used throughout.
The canopy installed above the restored Shrine of St David.
The painted oak canopy installed above the shrine was made by Friend Wood, to designs by Peter Bird, and seeks to replicate an original thirteenth century construction. It is painted in medieval colours and decorated with gold stars to represent the heavens. The white roses, joining the ribs of the canopy, represent the beauty of the gospel which holds together both heaven and earth.
Eleven wood carvings at the top of the canopy relate to different aspects of the lives of the saints depicted in the icons beneath them. The central wood carving of a scallop's shell, also known as the pilgrim's shell, is an ancient symbol of pilgrimage and baptism used by pilgrims on their journeys to centres of pilgrimage such as St Davids.
One of reliquaries now housed in the Shrine of St David
Three niches, formerly for kneeling at the foot of the shrine, now house two reliquaries, reputed to contain the remains of St David and St Justinian, and a replica of a Celtic 'bangu' bell.
The hanging sanctuary lamp was made by silversmith, Francis Northall, who included in the design a dove and a star as depicted in the icon of St David and the canopy. The lamp also bears a special hallmark to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee.