Magna Carta Pilgrimage Hailed

by Gerry Lynch last modified 15 Jun, 2015 03:04 PM

Hundreds on pilgrimage from Old Sarum to Cathedral before 'Libertea' in The Close

Magna Carta Pilgrimage Hailed

Bishop Nicholas and the Dean leading the pilgrimage off from Old Sarum

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, led 700 pilgrims this afternoon on a 2½ mile pilgrimage to Salisbury Cathedral from the ruins of its predecessor at Old Sarum. 

The pilgrimage celebrated 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta, one of the four surviving copies of which is at Salisbury Cathedral. The document will have made an almost identical journey from Old Sarum in the mid 13th Century. 

Bishop Nicholas said, “Magna Carta placed everyone under the rule of law – even the king. It is a way of holding power to account. Magna Carta is a document with roots in the Scriptures and which is foundational for the tradition of human rights and freedoms of today. Human rights defenders on every continent continue to appeal to Magna Carta. The letter and the spirit of Magna Carta still challenges our and other governments when they act in ways that are outside the rule of law. 

“As well as that, we had a lovely, happy, day as a Diocesan family, with 700 people enjoying a mild day and at least some sunshine for picnicking and pilgrimage. It really was a fun day for all the family, and it was good to join hundreds of others in the Cathedral Close for the largest of many Liberteas taking place around the country – there were around 1200 people in the Close.”

Photographs from the day are available here.

Bishop Nicholas' sermon from that morning's Festival Eucharist at Salisbury Cathedral can be read here.

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