Magna Carta Anthem delivered to Parliament

08 August 2014

Setting off from All Saints Church in Odiham on 20 July, Steve Brown has been undertaking an epic 1100 mile cycle to deliver parchment copies of a special Magna Carta Anthem to cathedrals, churches, towns and villages associated with the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215. On Wednesday 6 August Steve reached the Palace of Westminster and presented Parliament with its copy.

Steve was joined by community representatives from Odiham including, John Champion Chairman of the Odiham Society, composer of the anthem, Malcolm Archer, and Basingstoke and Deane Councillor Ranil Jayawardena. Odiham is the home of King John’s castle and was where King John set off to meet his Barons and agree to Magna Carta.

Steve has been undertaking this journey to raise money for the maintenance of All Saints Church, Odiham and will arrive back in Odiham on 9th August. It is hoped that Sustrans, a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport, will develop his route into the official Magna Carta cycle route. You can follow Steve’s progress through its final stages and learn more about his journey at

Accepting the anthem on behalf of Parliament, Parliament’s 2015 Anniversaries Senior Campaigns Manager, Caterina Loriggio, said ‘We are delighted to be supporting the people of Odiham in this worthwhile programme, Odiham is just one of several Magna Carta towns who we are partnering with to deliver an exciting UK-wide programme for 2015’.

Magna Carta Anthem

Composed by Malcolm Archer, Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College, and dedicated to the Citizens of Odiham who commissioned it, this Magna Carta Anthem is set to the text of ‘Veni, sancte spiritus’, written by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1215. Langton was Archbishop at the time of Magna Carta in 1215 and one of the principal signatories. He was also a key figure in the dispute between King John and Pope Innocent III, a contributing factor in the crisis that led to the issuing of Magna Carta. Published by the Royal School of Church Music, the Anthem will be premiered at Odiham on 21st November 2014 and will then be sung at various cathedrals including Canterbury, Durham, Winchester and Salisbury throughout 2015.

2015: Parliament in the Making

In 2015 the Houses of Parliament, along with the nation, will be celebrating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta alongside the 750th anniversary since the Simon de Montfort Parliament of 1265. You can learn more about Parliament’s 2015 Anniversaries programme, ‘Parliament in the Making’, at

Further information

Further details of Steve’s cycle route and other plans to mark the 800 year anniversary of Magna Carta can be found at

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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