Magna Carta & The Putney Debates

Faith perspectives on good government - the final free events


St Mary’s is on Putney High Street by the river at the south end of Putney Bridge. Many buses pass the building. District Line underground to Putney Bridge or overground trains to Putney station. There is no parking available at the church but parking is available in side-streets from 6.30pm.
St Mary’s Church, Putney High Street, SW15 1SN

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To mark the anniversary of Magna Carta St Mary’s Putney, scene of the historic Putney Debates in 1647, is to host a ground-breaking series of lectures of leading women of faith on governance in the 21st century.

In 1215 at Runnymede the King put his seal on Magna Carta promising government by the rule of law. Centuries later, in 1647, during another pivotal confrontation between monarch and subject, the idea of democracy was debated for the first time in England in the church of St Mary Putney.

Now, more centuries later, how should we be governed in our multi-cultural, 21st century society?

The Parish of Putney, in association with the Putney Society, and sponsored by a generous grant from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee, is holding a series of 3 lectures in the autumn each devoted to the perspective of one of the great world faiths on government and the shaping of democracy for the future of this nation.

Women’s voices were excluded from Magna Carta and the Putney Debates and the voice of religious faith is no longer exclusively Christian in this country, so we have invited 3 eminent women of faith to articulate what good government might look like from the perspective of their faith.

Commenting on the debates, Ailsa Newby Team Rector of the Parish of Putney, said:
‘In their time, the Putney Debates proposed a dramatic new approach to the creation of a fairer system of governance. These lectures offer three of today’s leading women of faith and opportunity to set out and debate their vision for a better society. Today’s challenges are as profound as those facing the country in 1215 and 1647. Our speakers will give a unique perspective as to how they should be met.’

26th November Sughra Ahmed, on Islam - is Programmes Manager at the Woolf Institute in the Centre for Policy and Public Education, where she has responsibility for the design and delivery of research and training on issues such as faith, belief, communities, and integration.

She has published a number of papers and key reports: Seen and Not Heard: Voices of Young British Muslims (2009) and British by Dissent (2014). Sughra is a Trustee of the Inter Faith Network UK, the Chair of the Islamic Society of Britain and a Specialist for the Christian Muslim Forum.

Sughra has a BA (Hons) English Language and Literature and an MA Islamic Studies; she is a qualified Chaplain and holds a Diploma in Islamic Jurisprudence. She regularly contributes to debates in the media and is also a contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. She was awarded the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Award for Muslim Woman of the Year at the British Muslim Awards.

All the lectures start at 8pm in St Mary’s church, Putney High Street, will last around 45 minutes and be followed by debate, chaired by the broadcaster, Roger Bolton. Admission free.

November 6, 2015

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