A SPECIAL anthem composed to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta was delivered to the North-East by bicycle today (Monday, July 28).

The manuscript was hand delivered to Durham Cathedral by Steve Brown, who is cycling the 1,000-mile Magna Carta Cycle Trail in aid of All Saints Church in Odiham, Hampshire, where his wife Alison is the vicar.

Mr Brown hopes to pedal to all five ‘charter towns’ where original copies of Magna Carta were taken, plus several other cathedrals, returning to Odiham on Saturday, August 9, after 20 days on the road.

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King John stayed at Odiham shortly before agreeing the first draft of the Magna Carta and also shortly afterwards.

The Magna Carta Anthem has been composed by Malcolm Archer, director of chapel music at Winchester College.

James Lancelot, master of the choristers at Durham Cathedral, said: “The signing of Magna Carta was an event of such great significance that it still influences our lives today, 800 years later.

“It is entirely fitting that Malcolm Archer’s approachable and effective anthem in celebration of this great anniversary should be sung here at Durham Cathedral where to this day there are copies of Magna Carta.”

The Cathedral holds copies of the historic document made in 1216, 1225 and 1300.

A copy will be exhibited next year to mark the 800th anniversary.

To sponsor Mr Brown, visit justgiving.com/all-saints-church-odiham