National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons Web Site
Text of Order of Service
16 June 2001

This information is presented through the courtesy of the Runnymede Borough Council and the Magna Carta Trust - Hon. Secretary Tim Williams


of the

786th Anniversary

of the Sealing

of the

Magna Carta

at Runnymede

Order of Service

Saturday 16 June 2001

[picture of the Memorial]

The American Bar Association
Magna Carta Memorial
Runnymede Meadow

2001 Triennial Celebrations
hosted by
Runnymede Borough Council

Magna Carta Triennial Service

This service to mark the 786 anniversary of the sealing of Magna
Carta is hosted by the Magna Carta Trust and the Borough of
Runnymede. You are welcomed by:

The Worshipful the Mayor of the Borough of Runnymede,      Councillor John Ashmore.

The Right Reverend John Gladwin, Lord Bishop of Guildford.

The Right Honorable The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls, and Chairman of the Magna Carta Trust.

The brass music before, during and after this service is provided by Katie Hodges (trumpet), Ruth Cantrill ((trumpet), Rob Thrower (French horn), Mark Rutland (trombone), Matt Rumble (tuba).

The choir is drawn from the Genesis Corale.


As the leaders of the service enter please stand and sing.


Judge Eternal, throned in splendor,
Lord of lords and King of kings,
With thy living fire of judgment
Purge this realm of bitter three things:
Solace all its wide dominion
With the healing of thy wings.

Still the weary folk are pining
For the hour that brings release,
And the city’s crowded clangour
Cries aloud for sin to cease,
And the homesteads and the woodlands
Plead in silence for their peace.

Crown, O God, thine own endeavor;
Cleve our darkness with thy sword;
Feed the faithless and the hungry
With the richness of thy word;
Cleanse the body of this nation
Through the glory of the Lord.

Words of welcome and introduction

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls
and Chairman of the Magna Carta Trust

(Please sit)

Reflection and Thanksgiving

Though not all the issues of modern constitutional life could have
been addressed in such an ancient document, Magna Carta laid a
foundation for the rule of law so deep that it has enabled many
different and greater principles of justice to be built on it by
succeeding generations. This has not been the case at all times and
it all places, as readings from Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu
Kyi make clear.

The twentieth century readings in the service will be taken and
introduced by Blake George, Jon Siah, Sam Mitschke, and
Hannah Beacham, from the Magna Carta School, Egham Hythe.

First reading: Nelson Mandela, open letter, 1985.

Second reading Aung San Suu Kyi, extract from "Freedom from
Fear," c. 1991.

Third reading: Extracts from a translation of Magna Carta.
Councillor John Ashmore, Mayor of the Borough of Runnymede


Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

[click to text of Address]

The Call to Change

Fourth reading: Quotation from The Rev. Martin Niemoller, c. 1950

Reflection on our own responsibilities


The Rev. David Peck, Chaplain to the Bishop of Guildford:

God our Father, we are sorry for the times when we had used your
gifts carelessly, and acted ungratefully.
Here are prayer, and in your mercy,
All: Forgive us and help us.

We belong to a people who are full and satisfied,
but ignore the cry of the hungry.
Father in your mercy,
All: Forgive us and help us

We store up goods for ourselves alone,
as if there was no God in heaven.
Here are prayer, in your mercy,
All: Forgive us and help us.

The Bishop of Guildford:

May the father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
renew his image in us
and restore us to this service
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Please stand)


Immortal, invisible, Gold only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish, as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.

(Please sit)


Reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, Chapter 3
Councillor John Ashmore, Mayor of the Borough of Runnymede

This is the word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.


The Right Reverend John Gladwin, Lord Bishop of Guildford

[click to text of Address]

(After the address please stand)

A call to rededication

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers will say the following:

By the granting of Magna Carta, the King accepted clear limits on
 the arbitrary power of the state over the rights and liberties of indi-
viduals. He knew that should be resile from it, his reign would be
untenable, as he would be opposed by both his Barons and the
Church - those upon whom he depended to enforce his rule and
uphold his authority.

The safeguards of Magna Carta are precious. The people of this
country and others have enlarged and refined their first, immature
framing in this Meadow seven hundred and eighty six years ago. At
many times progress has been painful. In many places in this very
uncertain world - including this country over the centuries - the safe-
guard has been damaged or forsaken, as we cannot have failed to
appreciate from the readings we have heard.

Liberty and the rule of law come at a price. From the very beginning
their existence has depended upon those who value them and are
prepared to defend them. Let us pledge ourselves to do so.

Prayer of rededication

The Bishop of Guildford:

O Lord God of justice, we give you thanks for the freedom in which
we live. We give you thanks for the constitutional liberties of this
land and for the granting of Magna Carta in this place, centuries ago,
which laid the foundation for so many of them. We give you thanks
above all that your children are able in Christ to live in the spiritual
freedom of your own righteousness.

We commit ourselves before you to value these freedoms. We commit
ourselves before you to defend these freedoms. We commit ourselves
before you to speak out for those who are denied these freedoms.
For your help in this task, O Lord, we pray, through Jesus Christ
our Lord.

All: Amen.

The Bishop will continue to lead the following prayers:
Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,
bless our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth,
and all who are in authority under her;
that they may order all things
in wisdom and equity, righteousness and peace,
to the honour of your name,
and the good of your Church and people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

O God, mighty and merciful,
the judge of all people;
we pray for Her Majesty’s Privy Council and Parliament,
her judges, magistrates, and all who assist them
in the administration of justice in our land.
Grant to them a spirit of wisdom, discernment; and compassion;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The Blessing

God grant to the living grace;
to the departed rest;
to the Church, the Commonwealth
and all humankind, peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
be upon you now and forever.

All: Amen

The National Anthem

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen!‘

 The service leaders will withdraw as the congregation
remains standing.


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