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April, 2001

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Posted by: | Posted on: April 10, 2001

Cranmer (Malcolm Guite)

We take the opportunity once a year to think about the reformation, particularly in and around this church, a time when new translations and scholarship became available, and people began to blow the dust off their New Testaments and find the Word illuminating all. Last year we talked about Latimer; this year we will focus on Cranmer.

Cranmer was at Jesus College and may have preached from the pulpilt of St Edwards. He was a generous and an accommodating man.

With respect to his being accommodating: he had both the strengths and the weaknesses that go with that word. An accommodating person makes room in his mind for multiple points of view in a time of real foment and controversy. Cranmer didn’t rush to a single point of view. He was also accommodating in the literal sense, particularly to wayfarers from the continent, literally providing house-room for them. His accommodating mind made him a very good teacher and scholar, and was part of the genius of his work on the liturgy – if you want a book called `Common Prayer’ then it must be rich and large enough to accommodate and make room for all the many different thoughts and feelings that a congregation may be having when using that liturgy. Cranmer also accommodated both the new and the old – and included in his book of Common Prayer the traditional and the novel…