THE HUSBAND of an Odiham vicar has begun an epic 1,000-mile bike ride to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

Steve Brown, whose wife Alison is the vicar at All Saints Church, in The Bury, set off this month on a tour of towns associated with the ancient document.

He started in the village, from where King John set out in 1215 to seal the document at Runnymede in Berkshire.

The trip will take him to Durham, and will involve visits to towns and cities where early copies of the document were kept, such as Oxford and Canterbury.

The journey will also raise money through sponsorship for a £250,000 project at the church to replace the heating system and install new flooring and seating.

Before he set off, Mr Brown said: “As a local resident of Odiham, it is good to be a part of the celebrations marking our village’s link with the birth of English democracy.

“I look forward to seeing the people I will be meeting along the route, and also hope people will give generously so that our church in Odiham can continue to welcome people in the years to come.”

Mr Brown will deliver manuscripts of an anthem written especially for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta to churches in the towns he will visit. His cycle ride is due to finish back in Odiham on August 9.