There is reportedly a bronze Shiva statue in the medieval St Peter Ad Vincula Church in Pennal village of north-west Wales (United Kingdom), founded in sixth century CE.
According to reports, Shiva statue, which has been inside this church for few years and has kind of become a permanent fixture, was taken out by a former rector of the church earlier this year, but has since been returned. Shiva statues had been stolen twice in the past from the church and about 40 church members raised funds to buy replacement Shiva statue.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded the St Peter Ad Vincula Church for making Lord Shiva a part of the Church. We should learn to live together harmoniously and with trust despite our seriously different traditions and faiths, he added.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that a more inclusive understanding of religion was needed. Zed urged the Church in Wales to engage in interfaith dialogue with other religious groups in Wales because dialogue brought us mutual enrichment and helped us overcome prejudices passed on to us from previous generations.
St Peter Ad Vincula (which means Saint Peter in Chains), in the Diocese of Bangor (founded 546 CE), is affiliated with Church in Wales. Renegade Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr reportedly held his last senate meeting here in 1406 and composed his famous “Penal Letter”. Memorial garden in the churchyard has reportedly been created for the native Welsh princes. There are suggestions that it may have been a pre-Christian shrine. It has won many awards for its conservation and heritage work. Former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is said to have donated money for Owain Glyndwr statue in the church. Reverend Richard Vroom is the vicar and Right Reverend Andrew Thomas Griffith John is the Bishop of Bangor.
The Church in Wales, which “believes and proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ”, is headquartered in Cardiff and is made up of over 900 parishes. Lord David Rowe-Beddoe is Chairman of the Representative Body while Most Reverend Dr. Barry Morgan is Archbishop of Wales.
Shiva, along with Brahma and Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities.