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Hundreds Compete for Cranmer Awards

Hundreds Compete for Senior & Junior Cranmer Awards

Twenty-two young finalists selected from schools, churches and festivals across the country will compete for this year’s senior and junior Cranmer Awards this month.

Despite the Covid pandemic, enthusiasm remains for the Prayer Book Society’s prestigious annual competition, reports the national administrator of the contest, Joanne Clark.

She said: ‘Hundreds of pupils enter our regional heats. This year we have the same number of competitors as we do for an average year. A panel of judges will see the finalists compete via Zoom on February 27.’

The Cranmer Awards concept is a simple one; pupils aged between 11 and 18 select, learn and speak from memory prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer compiled by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Regional heats mean that they compete locally for a place in the national final.=

Contestants will be invited to receive their awards and certificates during a special event in the summer, Covid permitting. The VIP guest presenting the certificates will be the chaplain of Oxford University’s Worcester College, the Rev Dr Tess Kuin Lawton, a former schoolteacher who was ordained in 2007 and appointed as chaplain of Worcester College ten years later. 

The date and venue for the presentations will be announced at a later date.

Since the first Cranmer Awards contest 32 years ago the event has grown so much that hundreds of pupils now enter the regional heats each year.

Although many of them traditionally have been pupils of private sector schools, the PBS is keen to include more competitors from state schools and parish churches in more dioceses.


  • Schools and churches keen to take part next year can obtain more details of the Cranmer Awards – including the dates and locations of regional heats – from the Prayer Book Society at The Studio, Copyhold Farm, Lady Grove, Goring Heath, Reading RG8 7RT, call 0118 984 2582, email