This cross was raised in 2018 in the perfect place for the formation of the spiritual intellect through direct engagement with nature, and it is exactly this which Fr Nil and Sheila are offering through the development of an Orthodox wilderness school and chapel in the forest lear it (designed by Andrew Gould and using materials from forest itself). I called Fr Nil and told him my intentions to visit and film there.
I told him I wanted to raise a cross in the wilderness and proclaim the glory of God radiant in the natural world. He warmly welcomed the idea. When I arrived, he and his community had already been busy working on the cross! They had felled a tree on the property, and had planed it and shaped it by hand themselves. They had also found a beautiful location to raise the cross, which you can see in this image. As the cross itself is fourteen feet high and weighs over half a tonne, raising it in this location would be an enormous challenge, and we knew that there was only one chance to film doing it. We set up our cameras, carried the cross in four pieces up the side of the mountain, and prepared to raise it. However, as we did so, we were all completely caught up in the spiritual significance of doing this extraordinary act and forgot even about the cameras and crew. nature itself seemed to participate in this sacramental act, and we felt the presence of the saints and angels. Finally it was time to raise it. There seven people involved in the raising itself, with the camera crew capturing every moment. Fr Nil and I were vested of course (him in Russian vestments and me in Greek vestments to symbolize the spiritual unity in this act between the two churches) and the cross was indeed raised in this remarkable location. The film will depict this symbolic moment beautifully as the whole thing came out perfectly.
There is so much more to the story which this post cannot contain. For more details please visit our film website and look at our blog www.faceofgodfilm.com 🙏