In the impressive surroundings of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, Brendan Ritchie won the Cranmer Award recently.
Brendan, a student at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, beat nine other competitors from around the country to take the Senior section first place and a cheque for £250.00.
It was Brendan’s first visit to the historic Hampton Court Palace, which he described as ‘beautiful”. “I was a bit nervous speaking in front of so many people,” he admits, “but I’m glad to have come through.”
The Cranmer Awards are an annual competition run by the Prayer Book Society. Competitors memorise and recite up to five minutes of text from the Book of Common Prayer.
Brendan, a regular member of the congregation of St Michael and All Angels, Hightown, Middlewich chose to recite the Collect, Epistle and Gospel for the First Sunday after Epiphany. “Public speaking is important and it’s a skill everyone should have,” he says, reflecting on why he entered the competition, “and it also allows me to express my faith,” he says.
The Prayer Book Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. Bradley Smith, the PBS’ chairman said, “The Book of Common Prayer remains relevant today as it was when it was first compiled. It’s a powerful and wonderful thing to hear young people reciting substantial passages mainly of scripture and the competitors really enjoy the experience,” he said.
Brendan says he’ll save the majority of his prize money to put towards funding a university course, but will spend fifty pounds on clothes and other treats.
The regional heats fro the 2023 Cranmer Awards will take place later in the year.