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St. Edmundsbury has a pivotal role in the history of Magna Carta. One chronicler, Roger of Wendover a monk from St. Albans, describes a meeting at Bury St. Edmunds in 1214.  The most likely date for this meeting is November 20, 2014 because that was St Edmund’s day. A group of Barons met in St. Edmunds Abbey Church and swore an oath to compel King John to accept The Charter of Liberties, a proclamation of Henry I. It was the direct precursor to Magna Carta a year later.  Some historians contest whether this account is reliable but the people of Bury St. Edmunds have always celebrated their role in the Magna Carta story.  In 1849 two commemorative plaques were erected in the ruins of the Abbey Church.  The Borough’s motto Sacrarium Regis, Cunabula Legis (Shrine of the King, Cradle of the Law) seems to date from this time. Pageants have been held in Bury St. Edmunds in 1907 and 1959 and these have celebrated the Magna Carta link; other celebrations have also been held since then.

The Lincoln Magna Carta will come to Bury St Edmunds in May 2014 as part of the plans by the town’s Magna Carta 800 committee.  This important document will be housed in the Cathedral for one month and be able to be viewed by schools and pubic alike as part of an educational programme. The Magna Carta will provide an initial stimulus to prompt work in schools which will be integrated within the Light and Sound event in the town in October.

The colourful sound and light experience will be a Magna Carta theme, based around the town and involving key locations and historic buildings.  This inclusive event is designed to celebrate the town’s role in the Magna Carta story and develop awareness ahead of the 2015 commemoration. Other activities include involvement in the Magna Carta tapestry, producing a commemorative stone for the town and working with other organisations to try to arrange the display of one of the original copies of the Magna Carta document.

Magna Carta 800 events in Bury St Edmunds, 2015:

February 14 – November 20, Bury St Edmunds.

            Barons Prize Trail 26 decorated bollards around the centre of the town to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Find all the bollards to enter the competition and win a £50 prize.

Details from www.burymagnacarta.org  please submit completed entries to St Edmundsbury Cathedral, cathedral@stedscathedral.org,  01284 748720.

Lent at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1LS.

            Lent addresses at St Edmundsbury Cathedral to mark the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta with reflections on key social and political issues. A small Magna Carta display will be available.

Lent Sunday Sermons during Lent we welcome visiting preachers at the 10.00 am Sung Eucharist on Sundays who will preach on a theme related to Magna Carta (except Mothering Sunday).

Details from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, cathedral@stedscathedral.org,               01284 748720

May 4-August 28, Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1DX.

            Pageants and the People: Bury St Edmunds and Magna Carta exhibition at Moyse’s Hall Museum to show the large historical pageants of 1907, 1959 and 1970. In   association with a team from Kings College London Redress the Past: Historical     pageants in Britain 1905-2016 (www.historicalpageants.ac.uk) and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Details from Moyse’s Hall, moyseshall@stedsbc.gov.uk, 01284 757160. Admission free to Pageant display (usual entry applies to other galleries).

May 4-August 28, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1LS.

            Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800 exhibition at St Edmundsbury Cathedral to reprise the popular Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800 exhibition of 2014 on a smaller scale.

Details from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, cathedral@stedscathedral.org, 01284    748720.

May (date to be confirmed), Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1DX.

            1959 Pageant Reunion to mark the Magna Carta year by bringing together those that took part or were in some way involved with the Bury St Edmunds 1959 pageant.

Details from Moyse’s Hall, moyseshall@stedsbc.gov.uk, 01284 757160. Booking essential.

May 22, 7 p.m. Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1DX

            Pageants Film Night an evening event to show excerpts from the archive footage from Bury St Edmunds pageants in 1907, 1959 and 1970 with an emphasis on the Magna Carta.

Details from Moyse’s Hall, moyseshall@stedsbc.gov.uk, 01284 757160. Booking essential.

June 14, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1LS.

            LiberTeas at St Edmundsbury Cathedral to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Details from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, cathedral@stedscathedral.org, 01284 748720. Booking essential.

June 22, Bury St Edmunds.

            Legal Walk by The Access to Justice Foundation to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

The Foundation is a national charity aiming to provide access to justice for the most vulnerable in society and it holds fundraising events throughout the year. The walks are sponsored events which are usually 10km long and take in the local sights and places of interest, additional activities such as picture competitions and raffles make it a fun event for all involved. The walks have traditionally been aimed at the legal profession as the main supporters of access to justice causes but teams or individuals from the legal profession and, increasingly, the local community can celebrate the work of the free legal advice sector by signing up to walk and raise   money for their local Legal Support Trust.

Details from Martha de la Roche, The Access to Justice Foundation,          enquiries@atjf.org.uk , 020 7092 3973 www.accesstojusticefoundation.org.uk

 

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You can find more details about Bury St Edmunds’ plans by clicking here.

For more details contact the chair of the Magna Carta 800 committee, Margaret Charlesworth at: mcharlesworth.magnacarta@gmail.com

In addition on 20th September 2014 we will host a Bury St Edmunds Study Day with eminent professors of medieval history at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds. Further information contact Sharon Fairweather, Tourism Officer Sharon.fairweather@stedsbc.gov.uk

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