Installation Day arrives as we welcome new Archbishop

In a few short hours, Cardiff Cathedral – the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St. David, Cardiff – will be full of ecclesiastical, ecumenical, civic and community guests to give witness to the installation of Archbishop-elect Mark O’Toole as the 8th Archbishop of Cardiff.  It is an historic day for the both the local and Universal Church and promises to be a joy and hope filled occasion.

After 11 years of service as our chief shepherd Archbishop George Stack will enter into retirement and take up the title ‘Archbishop emeritus’.


Ahead of today’s installation, we share with you our new Archbishop’s Coat of Arms, which will be adopted as our new diocesan crest.

The Ecclesiastical hat, together with the Double Cross, indicate that this is the Coat of Arms of a Metropolitan Archbishop in the Catholic Church. The shield bears an image of the Pallium, which will be given to Archbishop Mark by Pope Francis in Rome next week. The imposition of the Pallium, from the Apostolic Nuncio, will take place in Cardiff, in the Autumn. The pallium is a sign of the unity between the local and the universal Church, focused on the unity which Archbishop Mark has with the Holy Father.  Every Archbishop participates with him, in the pastoral ministry of the Good Shepherd.  The shield is in black and golden yellow, the traditional colours of St David.

The ship is an ancient image of the Church; there are two here representing the two local Churches of Cardiff and Menevia. The ship reminds us of the rich maritime history of these Dioceses, as well as that of Plymouth, from which Archbishop Mark has been transferred. Archbishop Mark’s family originally came from Connemara in Galway, Ireland, a place closely identified with the sea. The lion is the symbol of St Mark.  It rests on a shining star, representing Mary, the Morning Star, she who is Our Lady of the Taper, guiding our way in the following of her Son, Jesus Christ.

The motto, In Manus Tuam Domini (Into your hands, Lord), comes from Psalm 31, a prayer of confidence and trust in God.  These were the last words prayed by the Lord from the Cross (Luke 23:46). They were prayed also by St Stephen (Acts 7:59) before his martyrdom and were often on the lips of those martyred for their faith, including St Cuthbert Mayne, Protomartyr of Douai College.


The Installation will be available on livestream via Youtube, Facebook, the cathedral website and the homepage of this website.  The stream begins at 11.15am, with the processions starting at 11.20am.  Archbishop Mark will arrive at the door of the cathedral at 12.00 noon.