A rare copy of the cornerstone document of Britain’s legal system is on display this weekend as part of a bid to secure global recognition for a site of historical importance.

On Sunday, May 8, a copy of the Magna Carta was presented to Reverend John Hayward at St Mary the Virgin church, Merton Park, to the Merton Priory Trust, who made reference to the document in his sermon.

The Magna Carta copy – which is one of only four left in known existence after the original was lost - will also be on public display this Saturday and Sunday at the Sacred Heart church, in Edge Hill, Wimbledon, and copies of the manuscript will be available to take away.

The Trust, led by chairman Marcus Beal, is bidding for the Merton Priory site in Colliers Wood, where the first Statute of Law in England was passed in 1236, to be included on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

They also want the remains to form the centrepiece of a Wandle valley regional park linking green spaces through south London.

Councillor Richard Chellew, a leading member of the Trust, said: “The original Magna Carta has long been lost, but the first authentic copy to be made since 1215 has been completed by a College of Arms calligrapher on vellum.

“The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers and the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, the joint owners of this document, have kindly allowed this work of art to be displayed by Merton Priory Trust for the benefit of the people of Merton.”

To find out more about the Merton Priory Trust visit mertonpriory.org or email: info@mertonpriory.org.

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