Cathedral reveals Magna Carta anniversary celebration plans
Salisbury Cathedral has revealed its plans to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015. The Cathedral is home to the finest of four surviving original documents.
The Cathedral hopes to mark the occasion with a Medieval Fair for all the family, a pageant involving hundreds of local people, a special concert, a lecture series, a Celebratory Eucharist and a week-long flower festival, as well as other events.
There are also plans to commemorate the social justice message of the Magna Carta by working with prisoners on their release into the community.
Former Salisbury MP, Robert Key, is chairman of Salisbury Cathedral's Magna Carta 800th anniversary committee, he told Spire FM:
"It was the first ever document in the world to actually establish in writing what should be the limits of the power of the head of state. Most of the clauses have been superseeded by new law, but some are still in tact like the right to trial by jury. So it's an amazing document after all this time - 800 years - it's as relevent to our daily life as it was then.
The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, said
"Plans are being advanced here at Salisbury Cathedral to commemorate the forthcoming 800th anniversary of Magna Carta by promoting the values and ideals that it represents.
"Our ambition is to present a wonderful mix of spiritual and secular celebrations, promoting justice and freedom in a practical sense, and running a full programme of learning and outreach events for people of all ages. We aim to inspire further activity in the years that follow by leaving a lasting national and international legacy."
Salisbury Cathedral intends to re-display and re-present its Magna Carta in the newly-conserved Chapter House, safeguarding the document for the future and using the latest interpretation techniques to communicate Magna Carta's historic background and modern significance to the many extra visitors it expects to welcome in 2015. It also hopes to conserve and repair the Cathedral's medieval Cloisters where the Chapter House is located.
The following clauses of the Magna Carta remain in law today
38 The right to silence - Police warning on arrest 'you do, not have to say anything' etc.
39 The right to trial by Jury
40 Justice is free and swift - not for sale ('Legal Aid')
20 Sentence for a crime shall be proportionate
7&8 Protection of widows
13 The City of London and all other cities shall enjoy liberties and free customs
41&42 Freedom to travel and protection of travellers (origin of passports)