2nd Form pupil, Charlotte Beck, interrupted her half term holiday plans to attend the 30th Cranmer Awards, a public speaking competition run by the Prayer Book Society, in the medieval splendour of Lambeth Palace.
Entrants from across the country read or recite a passage of their choice, 3-5 minutes in duration, from the Book of Common Prayer. Local heats are held around the country, and the winners of the heats go through to the National Final where competitors must recite their chosen passage by heart. Entrants are encouraged to ask a teacher or a priest for guidance on how to prepare for the Cranmer Awards.
Charlotte was one of fifteen listed Junior finalists, with the judges awarding marks for clarity, fluency and intelligent communication of meaning. The Conference Room was a big, demanding space that required all of Charlotte’s Speech & Drama training and her performance experience to project her voice effectively. Her presentation of the gospel story of Lazarus and the joyful psalm 95 gave her the opportunity to display a secure ability with both Cranmer’s measured prose and the rhythm of verse.
As Patron of the competition the organisers were delighted to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to present prizes and certificates to all Junior and Senior contestants. Although unplaced in this year’s event Charlotte is looking forward to competing again next year and would recommend the discipline of accurate learning as a rewarding task.