This autumn hundreds of schoolchildren across the country are busy memorising prayers and readings from church services in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize in a national competition.

They are taking part in regional heats which will determine whether or not they will be among finalists in the annual Cranmer Awards competition in Worcester in February.

Winners aged between 11 and 18 are set to share £1,000 in prize money and receive a certificate with a copy of the Book of Common Prayer.

Presenting the awards at The Old Palace in Worcester on Saturday, February 24, will be journalist, theatre critic and author Quentin Letts.

Commenting on the importance, significance and value of the award scheme for the young people who take part, he said: ‘The Cranmer Awards plug youngsters into something that is actually very cool – historic language forged in the heat of cultural revolution and words that glint as brightly today as when they were first cut by that master of liturgy, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.’

He added: ‘Some politically-correct ninnies in the Church of England claim that teenagers cannot understand the medieval prayers and are deterred by antiquity. That is patronising nonsense. They respond to the poetry with the freshness and open-mindedness of youth and they find the very antiquity of the Book of Common Prayer amazing and interesting.’

Prudence Dailey, chairman of the Prayer Book Society, said that the finalists will be required to demonstrate that prior to the award ceremony when they speak their memorised chosen passages in front of an audience of more than 100 comprising parents, teachers, clergy and members of the Prayer Book Society.

Asked how he would describe The Book of Common Prayer to members of Britain’s diverse community who are less familiar with it – or may never have read it – Quentin Letts said: ‘The Prayer Book is the precious text of English churchgoing. Its language, initially olde-worlde, has the deep polish of an antique table and if you gaze into it you will find reflections.

‘It has been handed down the generations and allows us, when contemplating death and destruction, or life’s brief Catherine wheels of fizzing joy, to use the same words as our grandparents, their grandparents, even their grandparents and beyond. Think about that. Think how long these questions about Heaven and Hell have troubled humanity.

‘The sheer magnitude of this little book’s scope should stun you and make you realise that our troubles today about money or health or security are but grains of salt in God’s mighty order. Pick up an ancient prayer book. Turn its onion-skin pages. Speak the prayers. They exist today just as they did centuries ago, and they will long outlive us.’

 For more information about the Cranmer Awards contact the Prayer Book Society’s office at The Studio, Copyhold Farm, Lady Grove, Goring Heath, Reading RG8 7RT, call 0118 984 2582, email or visit

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Food & Drink Festival

Food & Drink Festival tastier than ever
Now in its seventh year, the Bramley Apple Festival of Food & Drink in Southwell Minster on Saturday 21st October(10-4pm) will be a great event for foodies everywhere.
As part of the town’s Bramley celebrations, there will be over 30 food and drink stands in the Minster’s Nave, featuring some of the best local small producers and retailers. Entrance is by £3 donation, under-16s free, and visitors will be able to view, taste and buy local and regional products.


Churchwarden Brenda’s October Notes

Early mornings and evenings are feeling a bit chilly and as I looked at my calendar this week, noticed that Friday 22 September was officially the first day of autumn.   The leaves on the beech trees in the churchyard are just starting to change colour, maybe in another couple of weeks they will show their true glory before they fall to the ground.   The yew trees either side of the path have been taken even lower and given shape and although looking rather woody, new shoots have started to appear which we hope to shape into bushes and will be far more manageable.

The PCC met on Tuesday 19 September and the following dates have been confirmed

8 October – Harvest Festival Service @ 11.00am and Lunch @ 12.30pm.   Should you wish to join us please put your name(s) in the red book or let one of the PCC members know.

21 October – Working Party  10.00am – 1.00pm (or as long as you can spare)

11 November – Remembrance Service @ 6.30pm

19 November – Patronal Service @ 11.00am

3 December – Christingle @ 3.30pm

17 December – 9 Lessons and Carols @ 6.30pm

24 December – Festal Communion @ 6.00pm

25 December – Festal Communion @ 10.00am

1 January 2018 – Bell ringers’ service

Please remember in your thoughts and prayers – Richard & Rae Cumberland, Elizabeth and Robin Brackenbury, Colin and Jean Wightman – I am pleased to report that Colin is recovering well after his major surgery.


A Prayer Book Glossary

A partial list of some potentially confusing words from regularly-used services in the Book of Common Prayer

Brethren– an inclusive term to denote all those present in a service. e.g. “Dearly beloved brethren…”

Comfort; Comfortable– from the late Latin confortare, to strengthen, to make strong; to be strengthened. e.g. “Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith.”

Concord– agreement between people.

Convenient– appropriate. e.g. “It is convenient that the new married persons should receive Holy Communion.”

Conversation– public conduct or behaviour. e.g. “examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God’s commandments.”

Curate– any priest who has ‘cure’ of souls in a particular place, normally a parish. e.g. “as the Curate by his discretion shall appoint.”

Eschew– abstain from.

Froward– perverse, contrary. e.g. Ps 18.26, Ps 101.5

Ghost; Ghostly– from Old English g?st (German, Geist) Spirit; spiritual. e.g. “…together with ghostly counsel and advice.”

Graven– carved, hand-made. e.g. “Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image.”

Holpen– past tense of ‘to help’. e.g. “He remembering his mercy hath holpen His servant Israel.”

Indifferently– impartially.

Intolerable– from Latin intolerabilis, cannot be borne.

Lively– living. e.g. “a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee.”

Magnify– to glorify, to praise greatly. e.g. “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Man/Men– an inclusive term for all human beings. e.g. “Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven…”

Meet– appropriate, fitting. e.g. “It is meet and right so to do.”

Militant– the Church on earth, those still ‘fighting the good fight of faith’ (from the Latin militans) as opposed to the Church Triumphant in Heaven. e.g. “Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church militant here in earth.”

Miserable– pitiable, in needing of mercy. e.g. “But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.”

Oblation– from the late Latin oblatio, (from offerre, oblatum, to offer), offering. e.g. “alms and oblations”, “his one oblation of himself once offered.”

Only– often means ‘alone’. e.g. “Almighty God…of whose only gift it cometh…” (Collect for Trinity XIII.)

Prevent– go before. e.g. “Prevent us O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour.”

Profession– a declaration of belief in something. e.g. “Baptism representeth unto us our profession; which is, to follow the example of our Saviour Christ.”

PropitiatePropitiation– to win or gain the favour of; a sacrifice which turns aside God’s wrath e.g.“he is the propitiation for our sins.”

Quick; Quicken– living; to make alive. e.g. “the quick and the dead.”

Regenerate– born again spiritually. e.g. “Grant that we being regenerate…”

Remission– forgiveness and absolution. e.g. “Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we…may obtain of thee the God of all mercy, perfect remission…”

Sabaoth– in Hebrew, “hosts” or “armies.” e.g. “To thee Cherubim and Seraphim : continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy : Lord God of Sabaoth.”

Satisfaction– fulfilling an obligation incurred. e.g. “ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make restitution and satisfaction”, “a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.”

Suffer– (1) to endure pain. (2) to tolerate or allow. e.g. “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

Suffrages– intercessory petitions made by the priest, followed by the responses of the congregation e.g. “The Suffrages next after the Creed.”

Supplication– humble and earnest petition. e.g. “Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee…”

TemptTemptation– test; testing. e.g. “when your fathers tempted me”, “lead us not into temptation.”

Travail– painful or laborious effort; to endure such. e.g. “Come unto me all ye that travail…”

Very– true. e.g. “Very God of very God.”

Vouchsafe– to grant readily, to show gracious willingness. e.g. “Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.”

Vulgar– easily understandable. e.g. “in the vulgar tongue.”

Worthily– with due devotion or reverence, deservedly or appropriately. e.g. “we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness…”

This Glossary is also available in the form of a card, which is designed to be used as a bookmark and can be downloaded here: Prayer Book Glossary card

For a single printed copy of the card, please send a stamped addressed standard-sized DL (220 mm x 110 mm) envelope, clearly marked ‘GLOSSARY’, to the Prayer Book Society office. For larger quantities for distribution to church congregations, confirmation classes, study groups etc., please contact the Prayer Book Society. See ‘Contact us‘ for contact details.

Churchwarden Brenda’s Note for August

We are now into the second half of the year and would you believe. only 21 weeks to go to Christmas!!!!  I heard this week that apparently there was an advert on television for Christmas trees, this before the schools have broken up and the majority have enjoyed their summer break, but it seems to be the trend now – Valentine Day cards in November, Easter Eggs on sale immediately after Christmas (if not before), etc; etc:

Forgetting Christmas, we unfortunately had to cancel the Bar-B-Que scheduled for the 14th July, but the PCC is hoping to re-arrange another date soon and we will let you know as soon as plans have been made.

On the 19 July, 37 church members and friends enjoyed a day out to Whaley Bridge (NW Derbyshire).   We were expertly driven by Malcolm from EmJay Tours in a very new and comfortable coach.  He took us the scenic route and often pointed out places and things of interest with the odd joke thrown in.   Marjorie Rippon and Jean Wightman took on the role as stewardesses and served tea/coffee/hot chocolate and soft drinks – thank you both.   Our mid-morning comfort stop was at Bakewell, where a few of the group stocked up on Bakewell Puddings.   We managed to have a whistle-stop wander round the town.   Then it was on to Whaley Bridge where we boarded the Judith Mary narrow boat for a 2½ hour round trip on the canal.   Lunch was served, consisting of Lancashire Hot Pot followed by Apple Pie and cream and was delicious and with the added bonus of liquid (alcohol) refreshment. It was most enjoyable.   On our journey home, Malcolm took us via Buxton, where we stopped for approximately 1 hour.   We were very lucky with the weather, being sandwiched between the very hot Tuesday and pouring rain on Thursday.   Thank you to Herbert and Sylvia, Ian G, Ian H and Colin for organising the day.

On 22nd, we opened the church as part of the Diocesan open church week-end and took the opportunity to have a working party.   We had a few visitors who took advantage of the opportunity to look around the church and learn some of its’ history.   We were also serving tea/coffee and cake.   In the churchyard, we were able to cut back a lot of elderberry and weeds that were growing under the beech tree, tidying round a few other trees and edging the front path.   Thanks must go to Cynthia and Patrick, Jean and Colin, Charles Benson, Dorothy, Elizabeth and my husband Brian for your help on the day.

Please remember in your thoughts and prayers Richard and Rae Cumberland, Colin and Jean – Colin undergoes a major operation in August, Ian and Danuta, Elizabeth and Robin


Churchwarden Brenda’s July Notes

I cannot believe that we are half way through the year already; and Brian and I haven’t decided yet where we would like to go for our summer holiday, although we are managing a few days away with our daughter and her family who will be visiting us from Sweden.

The PCC held its first meeting following the A.G.M. with many items on the Agenda.   I understand it was a profitable one with many items decided on.   One being when outside events affect access to the Church on a Sunday especially in the morning.   It is therefore with regret that the morning service only will be cancelled on

Sunday 23rd July –   The Outlaw Triathlon

The date for our summer B-B-Q was also decided.   This will be held on Friday 14th July 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm.   Cost to be £9.00  We shall be asking for contributions of puddings please.   If you would like to come, please put your name in the red book at the rear of the church.

We will be opening up the church on Saturday 22nd July for the Diocesan Open Churches Weekend.   We are combining this with a working party (for tidying up in the church and churchyard).   If you can spare any time at all to ‘man’ the church please let Cynthia know or if you can help at the working party then please do come along.

Please remember in your prayers Rae and Richard Cumberland and Elizabeth and Robin Brackenbury.   It is with sadness that I have to tell you of the death of Richard Nunn who has played the organ for services on numerous occasions in the absence of Ian.   Our thoughts and prayers are with Ann his wife and family.



Churchwarden Brenda’s Notes for May

Well is it or isn’t it?   Our typical English weather can’t seem to make up its’ mind what it wants to do.   We have gone from cold, wet and dreary days to being tempted to bring out our summer clothes from winter storage.   But then again I keep reminding myself that it is only the end of April and those warm sunny days aren’t the norm.   It was lovely to see the daffodils in profusion and now the blossom on the trees – nature in all her glory.

The first Saturday of April we held our Annual Coffee Morning and Spring Gardens.   As well as our normal stalls we were fortunate to have 4 craft stalls which added variety.   Over 130 people visited us and helped us raise £1200.00.   Thank you to the Brackenbury family for their generosity in letting us use the hall and gardens.   Thanks must also be given to everyone who helped or contributed to make the morning such a success.

On 23 April we held our A.G.M. Reports were given by the various officers.   Elections took place and Herbert Wakefield and I were re-elected as Church Wardens and Elizabeth Brackenbury, Margaret Hodgkinson, Audrey Newton, Cynthia Stacey, Colin Wightman, Jean Wightman as P.C.C. Members and Ian Godson and Sylvia Wakefield will be co-opted as members.   A P.C.C. meeting will be held in May when no doubt social events for the year will be organised.

Will you please remember in your prayers Robin and Elizabeth Brackenbury, Richard and Rae Cumberland and Margaret and Brian Hodgkinson.

Annual Coffee Morning

Our Coffee Morning was held on 1st April at Holme Pierrepont Hall – for which we must thank the Brackenbury family. Despite indifferent weather, 128 people came to see us – rather more than we have had before.

Our grand total as I write this is £1180 – although experience shows that this may yet rise! That total includes a substantial donation.

The PCC wishes to thank everyone who contributed in any way to what was a most successful social event, as well as being a major source of income for the year.


Churchwarden Brenda’s notes for April


We had some good news last month in that it was the pump on our boiler that had broken and not the boiler itself.   The pump has now been replaced and the system is working, much to the relief of everyone.   As the boiler is over 30yrs old, the PCC will now need to discuss possible replacement.

Fortunately the heating was fixed in time for 27 church members and friends to enjoy our March Munch on the 4th.   Soup (kindly made by Sylvia Wakefield), steak pie, mashed potatoes and vegetables and contributions of a variety of puddings were enjoyed by all.   Thanks to everyone who contributed to make the evening a success.

A working party was held on the 18th where Jean, Brian, Charles and myself made a start on clearing up the churchyard, Margaret and Dorothy did some spring cleaning in church and Ian and Colin set to to mend our crockery cupboard in the kitchen.   They originally thought it would take them 15 minutes but it turned out to be the morning – as we have found out to our cost at home, it’s typical of D.I.Y. when it turns out not to be as simple as you thought.  Thank you to everyone who helped.

Next month, we are holding our A.G.M. on 23rd April after Evensong at 7.15pm.   If you are on the Church’s Electoral Roll and would like to stand as member of the Committee or as a Church Warden, would you please put your name on the appropriate sheet which will be at the rear of the church.

Please remember in your prayers Richard and Rae Cumberland and Elizabeth and Robin Brackenbury.



Churchwarden Brenda’s March Notes

I hope you are all keeping well and looking forward to the weather getting warmer.   I know Spring is on its way because the snowdrops outside the Hall, just to the right of the path to Church are in bloom and the wild tulips are making good progress too.   I am just waiting for the crocuses to make an appearance and the picture will be complete.

It has again been a quiet month in our Church life.   We welcomed back Ian Hepburn after his and Mary’s annual ‘retreat’ to sunnier climes in the Cayman Islands and thank Derek, Richard Nunn and Keith Bailey for playing at our Sunday services in his absence.

Unfortunately for Ian, we were unable to give him the warmest of welcomes as our boiler has finally called it a day.   We think it is at least 30 years old if not older, so cannot be too shocked and we have surely had our money’s worth!!!!   The Standing Committee is meeting the Diocesan Heating Advisor on Tuesday 21st to see the best way forward.

You will have also noticed that a major change has occurred.   It has been mentioned by several parishioners that the view of the church from the park is spoiled by the yew trees either side of the path.   These have now grown too large, become unsightly and have lost their shape, so it was proposed and unanimously agreed by the PCC that the 4 yew trees be pruned back and cut down to a height of approx. 5 feet.   It is hoped that new growth will quickly appear and we can keep them shaped into bushes.   This is due to take place on Monday 20th February.

It gives me great pleasure in announcing the birth of Nancy Eva Josephine at 3.46am on 3rd February 2017 weighing 7lb 3oz to James and Jacqui Measures.   We send our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to them both and a very warm welcome to Nancy.

On a sadder note, I have to announce the death of Mrs. Jean Mills on 12 February.   Jean grew up in what is now Holme Grange Cottage (Jean & Colin Wightman’s home) when it was two separate cottages.   She worshipped at St. Edmund’s, was a member of the choir and a bell-ringer.   Jean and her husband were married here, as were her two daughters and two of her granddaughters.   Jean is being cremated at Wilford Hill on Tuesday 21st February at 11.00am.   Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Please also remember in your prayers Richard and Rae Cumberland and Elizabeth and Robin Brackenbury.