Celebrations to mark the role played by Bury St Edmunds in the historic founding of the Magna Carta will be boosted by a successful Lottery bid for £86,400.
Members of the Magna Carta 800 Committee are aiming to stage several events this year to mark the secret gathering of the barons at St Edmunds Abbey to decide that they would force King John into signing a charter to enshrine the rights of the people.
This was signed at Runneymede in 1215 and next year there will be national events to mark the occasion.
One of four of the original copies of the Magna Carter will be brought from Lincoln to St Edmundsbury Cathedral to be displayed and there will be a series of educational programmes encouraging local children to understand the importance of the Magna Carta.
There will also be a light and sound trail through the town to show how the charter is still part of the Bury’s heritage.
The committe is hoping to gain further sponsors for the event to enable the town to put on a fitting show.
Margaret Charlesworth, chairman of the Magna Carta 800 Committee, said of the funding announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund: “This is simply wonderful news. We have been determined to celebrate the crucial role that Bury St Edmunds played in the Magna Carta story before it was sealed by King John and now we can put our plans into action.
“The motto of Bury St Edmunds is ‘Shrine of a king, cradle of the law’ which reflects the pivotal role this town has played over the years and now, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, we will bring that story alive for people of all ages.”
The committee seen here celebrating the funding are made up from a range of town organisations including St Edmundsbury Cathedral, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which has pledged £15,000 towards to cost of events, The Bury Society, Bury in Bloom and Bury St Edmunds Town Council which has promised £5,000.