29th November 2019 — The Cranmer Awards are an annual competition run by the Prayer Book Society to introduce young people to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer - Entrants from across the country read or recite a passage of their choice, 3-5 minutes in duration, from the Book of Common Prayer. Local heats are held around the country, and the winners of the heats go through to the National Final where competitors must recite their chosen passage by heart. Druce Purves current 4th Form pupil at WGS, from King’s Lynn, kept the recently acquired School tradition and was delighted to be awarded Junior First Place, so he will be going to the National Finals in February.
Anne Robinson said it was a delightful way to brighten up a Norfolk November morning, with the largest Regional competition for some years, and congratulated Wisbech Grammar School for the exceptionally high standard of all pupils in the group. WGS pupils were pitting their skills against five other schools and a field of twenty-seven candidates across the two sections.
Thomas Cranmer's words and rhythms were delivered with assurance and integrity, but entrants also had to master the acoustics of the remarkable St Lawrence church at Castle Rising. No microphones or lecterns are used, so the speaker has to hold their nerve in a quite unusually vulnerable circumstance, and follow strict rulings on timings, specific introductory text and waiting on the judges' pleasure for their starting point.
All this was supported by several months of largely self-motivated preparation during the extra-curricular Period 5, and the initial bravery of volunteering to take part in such a seemingly archaic style of communication.
There was an audience of 60 people, including parents who came to support their children, and Lord Howard made us all very welcome, inviting us back to enjoy Castle Rising in the summer months. The delicious homemade biscuits served during the coffee break certainly helped calm the nerves, and the coffee warmed the hands. Our pupils were excellent ambassadors for the School and congratulations to everyone who took part in this competition.