We look forward to a special event, on Saturday 27 June, to commemorate the signing of the Magna Carta in June 1215. This will be at the Christian Heritage Centre, Rowley Regis (B65 9LU). We are privileged to have as speaker, Michael Gray, lecturer in history and politics at Harrow School, London.
Over the next few months, much will be made in the media of the events at Runnymede 800 years ago, but our aim will be to show the Christian influences behind the Great Charter, to focus attention on its Christian world view and recognise its lasting influence in preserving our Christian liberties.
We are also seeking to make better known the life of the Charter’s chief architect, Stephen Langton, a significant but neglected figure of British church history.
He was the biblical scholar responsible for first marking out chapter divisions in Scripture, and whose biblical studies in the University of Paris led him to a particular interest in the way biblical principles work out in the ordering of civil government and public life. He served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1213-1228.
Among Langton’s many benevolent works was the setting up of the Association or Guild of Shipmen and Mariners (later known as the ‘Corporation of Trinity House’), responsible for lighthouses and navigational aids around our coasts and for providing financial relief for mariners.
The subject of the Magna Carta has special relevance to our times, when many of our cherished liberties are under threat.