Magna Carta, religion, and freedom: Ekklesia on BBC R4

By Press Office
December 27, 2014

Ekklesia director Simon Barrow is taking part in a discussion of Magna Carta and religious freedom - including the issue of the disestablishment of the Church of England - on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 29th December 2014, at 4.30pm.

The programme is part of the regular 'Beyond Belief' series, and will be available on BBC iPlayer and as a podcast after broadcast.

What was the Church's role in the creation of Magna Carta? We all know about 'Bad King John' and his barons, but this was a religiously charged document. The very first and the very last clause declare that "The Church must be free," and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, almost certainly drafted it.

Ernie Rea is joined by the Very Rev June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury , whose Cathedral houses one of the four original copies of Magna Carta; Simon Barrow Co-Director of Ekklesia, the Christian political think tank, and contributor to Setting the Church of England Free (ed. Kenneth Leech, Jubilee Group, 2002); and David Carpenter, Professor of Medieval History at Kings College London and one of the investigators involved in the Magna Carta Project which is researching the context, production and reception of Magna Carta.

* More information and a link to BBC R4 'Beyond Belief' on Magna Carta here:

* 'Time to set the Church of England Free', by Simon Barrow:

* More on disestablishment from Ekklesia:

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