Congratulations to 5th Former, Eleanor Sloan (Wisbech) for becoming one of twelve senior finalists, from over three hundred entrants, at the 29th Payer Book Society’s Cranmer Awards on Saturday 24 February in Worcester. Eleanor was representing the Norwich Diocese but others travelled from all over England including Sodor and Man, Newcastle, Winchester and London. In the Old Bishop’s Palace in Worcester the candidates recited their chosen extracts from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to a warm and informed audience. The panel of judges for both Junior and Senior section assessed each speaker for accuracy, intelligent communication of meaning, fluency of style that captured Cranmer’s rhythms, and the effective use of pause and pace so that ‘the words could speak for themselves’.
Quentin Letts, broadcaster and journalist, presented the prizes and in his passionate address encouraged all ‘Comrades in Cranmer’ to champion ‘the small and powerful gift’ by which Thomas Cranmer sought to ‘raise us in intellectual ambition’ by creating ‘the deep well of philosophy and poetry’ accessible in the Book of Common Prayer. Mr Letts also praised the finalists for their ‘chiselled out consonants’ and felt positively encouraged that the future is bright given that they presented themselves better than ‘our current spluttering, stuttering national leaders’.