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11th February 2019

HRH The Prince of Wales will present the prizes during the national final of the Prayer Book
Society’s thirtieth annual Cranmer Awards Competition at Lambeth Palace on February 21.

In recent months, school pupils have taken part in regional heats across the country in a bid
to secure a place in the finals held at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official London
residence on the South Bank of the Thames.

The Prince of Wales, who is the Patron of the PBS, presented the prizes at the initial contest
held at St. James Garlickhythe in 1989, the four-hundredth anniversary of Cranmer’s birth in
1489. In a speech to finalists, their parents and teachers, he said: “I believe the Prayer Book
is a glorious part of every English-speaker’s heritage.”

In 2012, when the PBS celebrated 350 years of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, he wrote:
‘The vivid and memorable language of The Prayer Book has become part of our Nation’s
heritage and is, I believe, still vital and necessary in to-day’s life. Thomas Cranmer’s words
were, quite deliberately, like those of Shakespeare, “not of an age but for all time.”’ (Those
words were penned by Shakespeare's friend and fellow writer, Ben Jonson.)

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.
Regional heats mean that they compete locally for a place in the national final where the
winners share £1,000 in prize money and receive a certificate with a copy of the Book of
Common Prayer.

Since the first contest 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
chairman Prudence Dailey is keen to include more competitors from state schools and
parish churches in more dioceses.

A six-minute video about the Cranmer Awards produced to encourage schools to enter can
be viewed on the PBS website at

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