News & Events

Latest News

 Please direct any Press enquiries to our PR consultants, Tim Stanley Public Relations Ltd.

T:  07779 129305
E:  tim@timstanleypr.co.uk

HISTORIC CHURCH IN ‘CRANMER COUNTRY’ IS THE LATEST TO JOIN THE SOCIETY image

HISTORIC CHURCH IN ‘CRANMER COUNTRY’ IS THE LATEST TO JOIN THE SOCIETY

1st May 2020

A Nottinghamshire church with close historic links to Thomas Cranmer, compiler of the Book
of Common Prayer used in churches across the country, is the latest to join the Prayer Book
Society which encourages rediscovery and use of its majesty and spiritual depth at the heart
of the Church of England’s worship.

Dating from the 12th century, the parish church of St John of Beverley in the village of
Whatton in the Vale of Belvoir is one of six belonging to the local Cranmer Group of
parishes. The group is named after the former Archbishop of Canterbury who was born and
raised in nearby Aslockton.

At St John of Beverley, the tombstone of Cranmer’s father – also named Thomas – can be
seen in the Lady Chapel which is dedicated to his son’s memory.

Ancient registers stored in the church vestry list details of the baptisms, marriages and
burials of many of Thomas Cranmer’s relatives.

‘The Prayer Book has been used in our church for all but a few years since it was published,’
reports David McCall, churchwarden at St John’s where monthly Holy Communion services
attract up to 28 worshippers.

He said: ‘In the past two years we have seen a significant increase in attendances by those
who love the language of the Prayer Book and our traditional hymns.

‘In addition, we take every opportunity to organise special events locally to celebrate
Thomas Cranmer and the Book of Common Prayer so, as a new corporate member of the
Prayer Book Society, we welcome its support and visits by its members.’

The PCC secretary at St John’s, Janet Greasley – described by David as ‘our resident
Cranmer expert’ – gives talks about the historic church and welcomes visitors. In recent
years they have included Hilary Mantel, author of the historical novel Wolf Hall, dramatised
by BBC2, and Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford
University who has written extensively on ecclesiastical history.

Pictured is the tombstone of Cranmer’s father which can be seen in the Lady Chapel of the
church of St John of Beverley

Join Us

Support our work and become a member of the society

Find out more
Shop Online

We have a wide range of books, CDs and BCP related items

Find out more
Donate

Support our work and discover how to become a Benefactor of the society.

Find out more