Wisbech Grammar pupil through to the finals of a prestigious national reading competition

Prayer Book Society hold the Cranmer Awards 2017 at The Bishop's Palace, Worcester. Phoebe Griffith,

Prayer Book Society hold the Cranmer Awards 2017 at The Bishop's Palace, Worcester. Phoebe Griffith, guest speaker, with Benjamin York of Wisbech Grammmar School PHOTO: Helen Peters.Helen Peters 25.02.17 - Credit: Helen Peters 25.02.17

Wisbech Grammar School pupil Benjamin York, 15, has qualified for the finals of a prestigious national recital competition.

Benajmin was a high flyer in The Cranmer Awards, a national competition which has taken place annually since 1989.

Run by the Prayer Book Society, the contest introduces young people to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer created by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, during the Reformation.

Finalists are required to memorise and speak by heart their chosen Prayer Book passages in front of an audience of more than 100 comprising parents, teachers, clergy and members of the Prayer Book Society.

This year a record 332 school pupils entered local heats and 26 competed in the finals held at Old Palace in Worcester.


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Finalists’ certificates were presented by zoologist Phoebe Griffith, winner of the contest’s senior first prize at the age of 18 while a pupil at Moreton Hall School in Oswestry.

She told them how taking part had provided her with valuable life skills.

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The judges look for competitors able to demonstrate that they understand the words they are speaking while communicating them with clarity and fluency, in a style similar to that of a well-conducted church service.

Two panels of judges decided this year’s winners.

Judges of the senior group were chaired by Lesley Cook, a former chief executive of the English Speaking Board which promotes clear, effective communication at all levels.

Other members of the panel were The Hon Mrs Mary Pearson – who has been a Cranmer Awards judge from the beginning – and the diocesan director of vocations and ordinands.

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