Although to many of us it may all seem long ago and far away, we should thank God for Thomas Cranmer as we observe the 500th anniversary of his birth on 2nd July, 1489. To this day we benefit from his work.
Cranmer was the son of a village squire in Nottinghamshire. He excelled with the longbow and was a master horseman from his youth. Following a harsh early education he went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, then newly founded. After taking the M.A. degree he married Joan, a Cambridge girl. When she died in childbirth he was restored to his fellowship at Jesus College and ordained. His subsequent B.D. and D.D. degrees were the fruit of painstaking and assiduous study.
He longed to pursue the quiet reflective life of a scholar but was suddenly summoned to become Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533. Later he said, “there never was man came more unwillingly to a bishopric than I did to that.”
We may identify three particular reasons to honour the memory of Thomas Cranmer: he was a man of the Bible, a preaching theologian and a superb liturgiologist.
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Reformation Sunday is October 31, 2010, All Hallow's Eve. How are you and your church planning to celebrate the occasion?