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Cranmer Commemorations 24

Eighty members and supporters of the Prayer Book Society gathered in Oxford to mark the Martrydom of Thomas Cranmer.

On the 468th anniversary of his execution a service of Choral Mattins was held in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and led by the Revd Esther Lay, Assistant Curate of St Mary's. The preacher was the Revd Canon Dr William Lamb, Vicar of the University Church. Thomas Cranmer stood trial in the church in 1555.

After the service the choir and congregation made their way to the execution site in Broad Street where the Revd Fergus Butler Gallie read an extract from the Memorials of Thomas Cranmer by the 17th century historian, John Stripe, which recounts the martyr’s death. It concludes, "as a sign that this unexpected recantation was final, he stretched out his right hand and thrust it into the flame … crying with a loud voice, ‘This hand hath offended’. As soon as the fire got up, he was very soon dead, never stirring or crying the whole while."

The procession them moved to the Victorian memorial to Cranmer where Bradley Smith, Chairman of the PBS laid a wreath on behalf of the Society.

In the afternoon, the Revd Canon Dr Jeremy Morris, the Church of England's National Ecumenical Advisor, gave a lecture entitled, "Thomas Cranmer, the Prayer Book and the Victorians."

Elsewhere PBS members gathered at Salisbury and Truro Cathedrals to mark the solemn day.

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