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HIGH ATTENDANCE EXPECTED AT THIS YEAR’S CRANMER COMMEMORATION IN OXFORD image

HIGH ATTENDANCE EXPECTED AT THIS YEAR’S CRANMER COMMEMORATION IN OXFORD

7th March 2020

An historic annual ceremony in Oxford later this month is expected to attract an unusually
high attendance as its date falls on a Saturday for the first time in years.

The event on March 21 will commemorate the martyrdom in Oxford’s Broad Street of
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, a leader of the Reformation who compiled the Book of
Common Prayer still used in many churches today.

The commemoration starts with the Prayer Book service of Choral Matins at 11 am at the
University Church of St Mary the Virgin where Cranmer was put on trial for treason and
heresy.

Located on the north side of the High Street and a place of Christian worship for more than a
thousand years, the church has been described as ‘the spiritual heart of the oldest university
in Britain.’

During a sermon inspired by the text from 2 Timothy 2:14 – ‘strive not about words to no
profit, but to the subverting of the hearers’ – the Rev Fergus Butler-Gallie, assistant curate
at Liverpool Parish Church, will explain how Thomas Cranmer’s life and example must serve
as an example and rallying call for the Church of England today.

He said: ‘In a post secular context, the church must again seek to draw lessons from
Cranmer’s life and work and an unapologetic approach to faith in public in the twenty-first
century.’

Following the service, those present will process, led by robed clergy, to Broad Street where
Cranmer was burned at the stake on March 21, 1556.

The spot where he died, marked by a cross in the road, was outside the city at the time of
Cranmer’s death.

After prayers have been said the procession will continue to the Martyrs' Memorial at the
intersection of St Giles', Magdalen Street and Beaumont Street, outside Balliol College. A
wreath will be laid by Geoffrey Home, chairman of the Oxford branch of the Prayer Book
Society.

At Balliol College in Broad Street a free-admission lecture at 2 pm entitled ‘Hearing the
Word’: The Bible, the Prayer Book and Public Worship from Cranmer to 1660 will be
delivered by the Rev Canon Dr Judith Maltby, chaplain at Corpus Christi College.

The day will conclude with Evening Prayer at 4 pm.

The commemoration has been organised jointly by the Prayer Book Society and the
University Church. The services and lecture are open to all, with no booking required.

Pictured is an earlier commemoration of Thomas Cranmer in Oxford’s Broad Street.

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