A SHOREHAM church is commemorating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
St Mary de Haura Church, which had been in the centre of the town for at least 200 years prior to the Magna Carta, has organised special events on Sunday.
Churchwarden Ian Tompkin explained: “The Magna Carta was signed on June 15, 1215. It is important that this great event should be remembered and it is so significant that this should take place in the mediaeval church of St Mary de Haura.
“It is important for us remember that this document established and imprinted the principles of liberty and justice, which for 800 years has with stood the challenges and tests of time.
“They have been fundamental to our principles of democracy and freedom. The thanksgivings which flowed following the signature the Magna Carta would have been remembered within the walls of St Mary’s.
“The church was founded by Philip de Braose and later generations of this family suffered at the hands of the tyranny of King John.”
A Festival Choral Evensong will be held at 6pm and the order for the special service has been devised in close co-operation with the Royal School of Church Music.
Stuart Hutchinson, director of music, will lead the choir and the service will feature the finest church music, as well as congregational hymns and thanksgiving.
Prior to the service, St Mary’s Bell Ringers will ring a quarter peal of bells from 5pm to 6pm.
The event also marks Music Sunday, when the Church of England remembers the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), founded in 1926. St Mary’s Choir is affiliated to RSCM, which has played a major role in its development.
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