A feast of music and liturgy attended by the Right Reverend Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, is being prepared for a special service in July to celebrate the birthday of Aslockton’s famous historical resident, Thomas Cranmer.
The Cranmer Evensong service will be held on Sunday 3rd July from 6pm at St. John of Beverley of Whatton, Whatton in the Vale. Featuring the musical talents of the Choristers of Southwell Minster the evening will celebrate the life and works of Cranmer – the Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Henry VIII, who grew up in Aslockton and whose father is buried at St John.
Led by Paul Hale, Rector Chori and Southwell Cathedral organist, in what will be one of his last diocesan outings before his retirement, the Choristers of Southwell Minster will sing Evensong and give a short concert of ‘Cranmerian’ music following the service.
Paul says: “It will be a delight for the Minster Choir to revisit the ‘Cranmer’ parishes, several years after we last sang at Whatton. We recall our warm welcome last time – and the splendid tea! As we sing Cranmer’s great ‘invention’ – Evening Prayer (conceived by amalgamating the monastic evening offices of Vespers and Compline) – every day in the Minster, it seems most appropriate that we will be singing that very service in a church which he knew.”
The Cranmer Group of churches will be delighted to welcome the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Bishop Paul Williams to the service, who will be the preacher.
“It promises to be a joyful celebration of the life and legacy of Cranmer,” said the Revd Bryony Wood, Vicar of The Cranmer Group. “On the evening, the bells will be rung to let our residents know the service will be taking place. Between 5pm and 6pm the bell ringers will perform a quarter peal, to begin the celebrations.”
Entry to the Cranmer Evensong at St John of Beverley of Whatton is free, but seats will be limited. Starting at 6pm the service will round off of a weekend of birthday celebrations, and be a fitting tribute to the ‘local boy made good’, who was the architect of the Book of Common Prayer.
The Cranmer Group hope the ‘Birthday Weekend’, which also includes the unveiling of a giant playground snakes and ladders game at Archbishop Cranmer School on Friday 1st July (charting the ups and downs of Thomas Cranmer’s life), will become an annual event. “We have high hopes this celebration weekend will return each year,” continues Bryony “and become part of a wider project – The Cranmer Connection – that will see the creation of a permanent commemoration to Thomas Cranmer’s legacy. We will be holding a collection at the service to help raise funds for the project.”
Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy Cranmer Evensong, partake in an evening of music and liturgy and honour the memory of the Cranmer Groups most famous of former residents.
For more information contact the Revd Bryony Wood, Vicar of The Cranmer Group (and Deanery Missioner for East Bingham Deanery) The Vicarage, Main Street Aslockton,
Nottingham NG13 9AL. Telephone 01949 850523.