Giant cross made of wood from IRA bomb-damaged church raised on West Yorkshire hillside

A large wooden cross has been raised on a hill overlooking Otley in West Yorkshire ahead of Easter.

The 30ft (9.1m) Chevin Cross was carried to the top of Otley Chevin, as has happened every year since 1969.

The cross is put up by volunteers two weeks before Easter Sunday and taken down again two weeks afterwards.

“Patients can see the cross from the local hospital and I’ve been told that it gives them an inner strength,” said Howard Chaplain, who oversees the work.

The current version is made from wood salvaged after the IRA’s Manchester bomb attack on 15th June 1996.

Mr Chaplain continued: “We get big groups coming together to make it happen, some people come every year, but there are always new faces too. Lots of them aren’t Christian.

“Many people also go to their windows to watch it happen from their homes – it definitely brings the whole town together.”

The tradition has taken place for 54 years, with the landmark easily spotted from the town centre below.

“The idea came from a local preacher, who was inspired to put the cross up after spending time in Austria in the hills there,” Mr Chaplain said.

“He made the first cross that was destroyed after a number of years. The current cross is made from wood from a Catholic church that was damaged in the bomb attack.”



Pic: Les McClean/Geograph