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Monday 27 February 2023

A rare opportunity to witness the Rule of Law Celebration

Salisbury residents will have the rare opportunity to witness the Rule of Law Celebration on Sunday 12 March with a public procession through the streets of Salisbury and a thanksgiving service at Salisbury Cathedral.

This will be the first time in Wiltshire that the procession will makes its way through the streets of the City. The event normally takes place within the Cathedral in front of an invited audience and the Evensong congregation. By opening the event to a wider audience, it is hoped that more people will be able to enjoy the spectacle and express their civic pride.

Starting at 4pm, the Procession will make its way from Salisbury Guildhall to Salisbury Cathedral and will consist of the Lord Lieutenant; the High Sheriff of Wiltshire and Sheriffs of surrounding counties; Wiltshire-based Judges; Armed Forces & Emergency Services Chiefs; Wiltshire Council officials; and the Mayor of Salisbury & Mayors of surrounding Wiltshire towns; – all led by the Salisbury Town Cryer, and accompanied by the City Beadle and traditional Mace Bearers.

It will then arrive at the Cathedral at 4.25pm for the thanksgiving Legal service which coincides with the Sunday Evensong.

The Rule of Law Celebration dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215 which confirmed that every citizen has the constitutional right to trial by a jury of twelve fellow citizens and that they are presumed innocent unless & until proven guilty.

Upholding the Rule of Law has always been a central theme of the High Sheriff’s role, with regular celebrations held over the centuries to recognize its significance. These normally take the form of an annual Thanksgiving or ‘Legal’ Service hosted by the High Sheriff and attended by the county Judiciary and Law Enforcement agencies.

The Mayor of Salisbury, Cllr Tom Corbin said, “I am delighted that the Rule of Law Celebration can be witnessed by the public this year. It will be fantastic to be part of this important ceremonial occasion in Salisbury which celebrates the vital work that our Judiciary, uniformed Services and Local Authorities do to protect our community and keep it safe.”