We are looking forward to a special lecture to be given on 27th June this year, to commemorate the signing of the Magna Carta in June 1215.
Over the next few months there will no doubt be much made in the media of the events that took place at Runnymede 800 years ago. Our aim in this however, is to show the significant Christian influences that lay behind the great charter’s origin and subsequent drawing up, to focus attention on the Christian world-view revealed in its contents, as well as to recognise its lasting influence and impact in preserving our Christian liberties.
We are also seeking to make better known the life and ministry of the Charter’s chief architect, Stephen Langton, one of the highly significant but much neglected figures of British church history. He was the biblical scholar responsible for the first marking out of the chapter divisions in Scripture. His biblical studies in the University of Paris led him to a particular interest in the way biblical principles ought to be worked out in the ordering of civil government and public life. He served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1213 to 1228.
Amongst his many benevolent works carried out under this office, was the settting up of the Association or Guild of Shipmen and Mariners, which in subsequent centuries became better known as the ‘Corporation of Trinity House’. This was responsible for the providing of lighthouses and navigational aids around our coasts, and providing financial help and relief for mariners and their dependents in times of distress.
The Magna Carta lecture on 27th June at 2pm will be given by Mr Michael Gray, lecturer in History and Politics at Harrow School, London.