Holt pupil impresses with his Book of Common Prayer speech

Joseph Oxtoby. Picture: Tim Stanley

Joseph Oxtoby. Picture: Tim Stanley - Credit: Archant

A pupil of Gresham's School in Holt has been rewarded with a special certificate to mark his skill in speaking from the Book of Common Prayer.

Run by the Prayer Book Society, the national Cranmer Awards, which have taken place annually since 1989, introduce young people to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer created by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

All contestants memorised and spoke by heart passages from the book in front of an audience of parents, teachers, clergy and society members.

Judges looked for competitors able to demonstrate they understood the words they were speaking while communicating them in a style similar to that of a well-conducted church service.

More than 300 pupils entered local heats and 27 competed in the finals at Old Palace in Worcester.


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Joseph Oxtoby, 14, chose to speak Psalm 38, and his certificate for making it to the finals was presented by the journalist Quentin Letts.

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