Magna Carta this Lent

13 March 2015

WHEN St Edmundsbury Cathedral last year borrowed Lincoln Cathedral's copy of the Magna Carta for a month, nearly 9000 visitors came to see it, including large numbers of schoolchildren.

Such was the interest of the people in the diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich that the cathedral Chapter decided that the lunchtime Lent Addresses given this year on Fridays would each be a theme picked up from the great charter.

The Revd Jenny Vereker started with Church and Society; then, last week, Canon Peter Mortimer was speaking on the Rule of Law; today, the Revd Dr John Parr is tackling Taxation (that should be interesting); next week, Canon Paul Daltry will speak about Immigration; and, finally, Canon Matthew Vernon is to talk about Democracy.

The addresses are being given in the quire of the cathedral, surrounded by the coats of arms (above) of the Magna Carta barons, and are all relevant in the weeks before a General Election.

The nation's commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the sealing and acceptance of the Magna Carta by King John, and the local interest in its links with Bury St Edmunds, mean that the Sunday-morning visiting preachers will also use it to inspire their sermons. The preachers will include both the former Bishop of Guildford (the diocese where Runnymede is situated) the Rt Revd John Gladwin, and the Master of the Temple and lecturer at King's College, London, the Revd Robin Griffith-Jones.

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